• June 3rd, 2020

Editorial - Flattening the curve comes at a cost


The economic destruction caused by the Covid-19 outbreak is being felt across industries in our country, particularly the tourism and hospitality sector, which has literally been brought to its knees. 

The Namibian economy is bleeding as a result of the 38-day lockdown that government had imposed. Obviously such painful decisions had to be made and striking a balance between the economy and the health of Namibians is of paramount importance. 
Government, under the leadership of President Hage Geingob, has done a relatively good job to curb the spread of the coronavirus through the implementation of stringent policies to help slow the spread of Covid-19 in communities. 
Bold decisions around closing schools, workplaces and enforcing physical distancing had to be made in the interest of Namibians and its inhabitants. 

The early measures put in place by government, including securing national borders, has paid off as the country went for over 37 days without reporting a confirmed case. 

In the process, 12 have recovered, leaving the country with only four active cases. We remain hopeful that the health authorities will do everything in their power to ramp up testing efforts as well as speedily tracing contacts. 
Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula had earlier promised to test about 60 000 people through a widescale testing strategy. 
Yesterday, he announced that PathCare has also increased its testing capability to assist the Namibia Institute of Pathology with the testing of more samples. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged for more testing as well as scaling up capacities to carefully monitor people who are in close contact with those who are infected. 
Although we have to learn to live with this virus until such time a cure has been found, it is true we live in uncertain times owing to the increasing demand for patient care across the world. 

Not even massively developed nations are coping with this pandemic. 
The Covid-19 lessons are hard, as we all navigate through the situation, into an uncertain future, fixing our ailing health system will definitely have to be priority number one. 

As a developing country, we are aware that there are many competing interests, aggravated by high unemployment, the quality of education and lack of sanitation among a potpourri of challenges. However, the time to act is now. 
We must devise proper long-term strategies to increase efforts to strengthen health services in our country and this will have to be done at the expense of other equally important priorities, unfortunately. 

We are hopeful that government would look at curbing unnecessary expenditure in order to free-up funding for critical areas as we combat Covid-19.


Staff Reporter
2020-05-15 09:57:22 | 19 days ago

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