The Namibian government has removed all restrictions imposed on account of Covid-19 but insists on citizens to voluntarily comply with public health and social measures and ensure that good hand hygiene becomes part of the new normal.
President Hage Geingob announced this at the 45th, and for now, the last monthly Covid-19 public briefing until further notice. He said the Covid-19 public updates would be withdrawn (unless the situation necessitates such interventions). The health ministry will brief the public on the pandemic-related issues on Thursdays through the government information centre.
Geingob added there is no doubt the physical and emotional toll of what we went through, as a nation will remain a scar that will be felt for many years to come.
“We are now at a stage where we can significantly lower the scale of our investment in the fight against Covid-19,” he said, adding that the control of the pandemic will be carried out in the same way as was for Hepatitis E.
On 2 March 2022, the health ministry announced the end of the Hepatitis E outbreak in Namibia after it was declared a plague in 2017. The liver disease cost 66 lives in the country, leading up to September 2020. Hence the need to replicate measures under Hepatitis E when handling Covid-19. With no regulations in place, the ministry will continue doing more awareness raising, promoting hygiene and all other measures until the pandemic is eradicated.
“The government will intensify the vaccination campaign. We believe that vaccination is necessary to protect the nation against any outbreak of new variants of Covid-19.
Foreign travellers must present vaccination certificates at point of entry,” said Geingob.
He said Covid-19 necessitated lockdowns with far-reaching implications on the economy and that in due course, the government will provide, in the National Assembly, a detailed accountability report related to interventions in the fight against the pandemic. There have been numerous concerns and doubts about the spending of Covid-19 funds.
“Companies closed down, supply-chain disruptions affected business operations and many jobs were lost as a result. As a government, through various relief measures, including a grant to more than 500 000 citizens, we endeavoured to limit the economic scarring from Covid-19,” recalled Geingob.
Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said Namibia’s approach to combating Covid-19 has been and continues to be focused on saving lives, restoring livelihoods, and contributing to the recovery of the economy.
“Sadly, the total number of deaths is 4 060 since the beginning of the pandemic. The number of deaths decreased from 18 deaths reported during the preceding 29 days, to 13 deaths reported during 30 days of the dispensation ending at 00:00, 15 July 2022,” he said.
Shangula stated that the decision to remove the Covid-19 restrictions gazetted does not mean the pandemic is over.
“Our data continues to illustrate consistently that the overwhelming majority of Covid-19 cases being hospitalised, those in high care and ICU, and those succumbing to Covid-19 are invariably unvaccinated persons! So please, fellow Namibians, I implore you to get vaccinated, protect yourselves and those around you,” he pleaded.