President Hage Geingob has expressed a sigh of relief over the declining Covid-19 infections as well as hospitalisations and deaths.
Addressing the public on Covid-19 response measures at State House on Friday, the President said since the onset of a deadly and devastating third wave of Covid-19 during mid-May, the last two weeks’ observance period has offered the nation some respite. By 13 August, Namibia recorded a total number of 3 271 deaths due to Covid-19.
“This has been a period of struggle and strife, as families and communities grapple to cope with the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he stated.
“However, despite the tremendous challenges and losses encountered, we have persevered and shown that through joint action and common purpose, no challenge is insurmountable. We shall and must win, as a united people.”
The positivity ratio has declined significantly from 28% to 15% over the last two-week period. To this, Geingob said Namibia is emboldened by the signs of hope that are now evident around everyone. He thus urged Namibians to do all they can to sustain this positive trajectory. With a 52% reduction in new cases countrywide, government recorded more recoveries than new infections, with 15 188 recoveries recorded over the last two-week period.
“This is a clear sign of the effective suppression of the transmission of new infections. The number of deaths due to Covid-19 and related illnesses have also declined over the period from 500 to 205 deaths. We are hurt, and regret this loss of life. One Namibian life lost is one life too many,” he stressed. A decline in new infections has been recorded across the country over the period, with the steepest reductions recorded in the Khomas, Otjozondjupa and Erongo regions.
Similarly, case fatalities declined by 59% across all regions, with the exception of the Zambezi region, which recorded an increase in fatalities of 29%. The Omaheke region, although marginally declining in deaths over the period, continues to account for the highest case fatality rate at 6.7%, three times the national average.
While this current pattern suggests that the mitigating measures are achieving a measure of success, Geingob reiterated that prevention is better than cure. “Let us, therefore, not drop our guard, but proceed with cautious optimism and remain vigilant.”
He then announced some adjustments, which came into force yesterday for an extended period of 31 days until 14 September 2021. Public gatherings have been adjusted to 100 persons per event, while the curfew will remain in force from 22h00 to 04h00 daily. All schools and educational institutions will operate at full capacity, with strengthened infection prevention and control measures in place. The sale of liquor remains restricted, on a take-away basis between 09h00 to 18h00, Monday to Friday, except for those hospitality establishments that have resident guests. The sale of alcohol remains prohibited from Saturday to Sunday, except at restaurants, guesthouses and similar establishments with resident guests. On-site consumption of alcohol is allowed with meals at restaurants until 22h00.
Gyms, nightclubs, casinos, gambling and betting houses may resume operations, allowing patrons up to half capacity. The number of persons inside a facility may not exceed 50% floor-carrying capacity, or 100 persons at any one time. All contact sports may resume, however, without spectators. The loading capacity of public transport vehicles is now at full capacity.