MPUNGU - Covid-19 regulations fell on deaf ears as about 300 people gathered for a football tournament at Simbungu village in the Mpungu constituency yesterday.
The tournament, which attracted community members from nearby villages such as Nciye, Tjohwa and Mbome, included children as young as six years old. When law-enforcement officials arrived in police vehicles, a lot of the people managed to disperse.
Contact sports such as football are prohibited under the current Covid-19 public health regulations nationwide. Public gatherings are also capped at a maximum of 10 people. The current regulations will lapse on 31 July. Deputy Commissioner William Peter of the Namibian Police in Kavango West said instead of arresting those found at the field, the officers opted to speak to and educate the crowd on the non-adherence to Covid-19 regulations and the consequences thereof.
Peter raised concern over the increasing non-compliance to the regulations in the region, despite the new infections that are being reported. “These include failing to keep a social distance, the wearing of masks, large public gatherings at various events such as churches, memorial services and burials, and the on-site consumption of alcohol, even on prohibited days,” he stated. Peter also warned churches against the holding of services at night, especially way past the curfew hours.
The officer furthermore cautioned the youth against roaming around after curfew hours, and to avoid all sorts of gatherings. Likewise, community and traditional leaders should meet the government halfway by educating the inhabitants, he added. “I call upon the headmen, the traditional authorities and our councillors to assist the government by educating the public to avoid contraventions like these,” Peter urged.