Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has called on members of the public to cooperate with law enforcement in the strict implementation of the daily curfew imposed nationally between 20h00 and 05h00 to help curb the spread of Covid-19.
Ndeitunga said law enforcement officers were more than ready to enforce the curfew and the state of emergency regulations across the country. The dusk-to-dawn national curfew came into effect yesterday.
“We have always been ready to enforce the state of emergency regulations. We will do the same as we have been doing in two regions of Erongo and Khomas and the six local authorities. My office has given guidance and instructions that the curfew is enforced as announced by the head of state,” Ndeitunga told New Era yesterday.
President Hage Geingob on Friday extended stage three lockdown regulations across all 14 regions for two weeks. The daily curfew from 20:00 to 05:00, which was only applicable to Windhoek, Okahandja, Rehoboth, Walvis Bay, Arandis and Swakopmund, was extended to the whole country until 12 September.
Ndeitunga added despite the police’s readiness, the onus was still on the public to adhere to the state of emergency regulations.
“People should not do things because they should be policed. It should be on the willingness of everybody. Everyone should just be a law enforcer. Wherever they are, they should ensure they enforce the regulations. They should adhere to health protocols to assist the police. If we all adhere to regulations of the state of the emergency, we will be victorious at the end of the day,” Ndeitunga stated.
Government on Friday also lifted exit and entry restrictions for Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis, and members of the public may travel to other parts of the country but travel restrictions in Windhoek, Rehoboth and Okahandja remain.
Geingob explained the set measures aim to suppress the spread of the virus through the movement of people, while minimising impacts on livelihoods and businesses. The President appealed to all Namibians to take the virus seriously and exercise utmost caution in behaviour and conduct.
“By failing to adhere to protocols, you could be placing your family members, neighbours, colleagues and other citizens at risk. Let us all take responsibility for our health and safety, and that of others. Each one of us must display leadership by safeguarding our lives and those around us, and not wait for the government to police our behaviour,” Geingob encouraged.
The Hosea Kutako International Airport will open from tomorrow for inbound tourists as part of the international tourism revival initiative. Geingob said the virus is likely to remain in “our” midst for a prolonged period of time and people must learn to live with it.
“This is true. However, learning to live with the virus does not mean going back to 16 life as we knew it. That is not learning to live with the virus. That would be befriending the virus and allowing it to continue devastating life, health and economy. Truly learning to live with the virus means adapting our attitudes and behaviours, so that we can reduce the damage it can do to our country,” he said.
Geingob stressed this means sacrificing some of “our” comforts and even income-generating activities to keep hospitals operating, schools functioning and empowering businesses to grow again.
Geingob is confident that if everyone works together, acting sensibly and continuing to use good judgement, Namibia can slow the spread and reduce the rate of infection and move the country towards eased restrictions.