President Hage Geingob yesterday said governmenet was forced to impose stricter restrictions by placing the entire Erongo region under lockdown, as a number of people were breaching lockdown rules aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus in Walvis Bay. Government imposed a 14-day total lockdown of the entire region until 22 June. “Furthermore, based on observation regarding the current lockdown in the Walvis Bay local authority area, members of the public are not adhering to lockdown measures. Therefore, the potential for community spread and the risk level for Walvis Bay and surrounding towns is high. This necessitates more stringent measures to curb the spread beyond Walvis Bay,” said Geingob during a televised address. Of the 15 active cases of Covid-19 countrywide, four involve four people who are currently in isolation in Walvis Bay.
According to Geingob, the 14-day lockdown will help the authorities to conduct expansive testing in the area surrounding the known cases. “The ministry (of health) will also expand the search for contacts to secondary contacts. We are working to avoid imposing national lockdowns, by effecting prompt and targetted, localised interventions,” the President stated.
Erongo governor Neville Andre said the decision to impose a total lockdown of the region is an aggressive move that is aimed at controlling the spread of the virus in the community. “Yes, there will be economic hardships that will be felt all over the region, especially Walvis Bay – one of the economic hubs of the country. However, we must forge ahead and not allow Covid-19 to defeat us. Hence, government’s efforts to stop the disease from spreading in the community is commendable,” he said yesterday.
Walvis Bay local authority councillor Romeo Goseb also applauded government for its swift action to curb the spread of Covid-19 nationally. “However, we could’ve done better in terms of Walvis Bay as a specific case, especially with monitoring and testing at the entry points,” he said. “The town has been under two different stages of lockdown that have had a dire impact in various sectors of our economy, with specific emphasis on the SME sector that is continuously under severe strain due to inactivity, whilst jobs are on the line in the formal sector.”
Goseb added that this, in turn, will have a long-lasting negative effect on the finances of the local authorities that have a social and developmental duty towards inhabitants. “I thus urge President Hage Geingob to kindly look into the issue of daily daytime patrols, especially in Kuisebmond, and putting in place a curfew. We are all in this together and I trust that with a change in behaviour we can overcome,” he said.
Usakos mayor Shuudeni Mwafangeyo also shared the same sentiments, saying although the movement of people will be restricted to curb the spread of the virus, businesses will suffer. “Usakos is a transit town and with the restrictions coming with the lockdown, various businesses will not operate. This will put a strain on the local authorities as people need to be assisted during the lockdown,” he added.
Eveline de Klerk
2020-06-09 10:11:30 | 1 months ago