KEETMANSHOOP – Police in the //Kharas region say those attending funerals are the main transgressors of the regulations ratified to curb the spread of Covid-19, while warning residents who ignore the curfew that they may face heavy fines or imprisonment.
//Kharas crime investigations coordinator Chrispin Mubebo said, “In terms of the Public Environmental Health Act of 2015, offenders arraigned before court might be fined to a maximum of N$100 000 or 10 years imprisonment, or both,’’ he said as a means of deterring people not to make themselves guilty of transgressing the 21h00 to 04h00 curfew.
Mubebo, however, added that a court of law, on its own discretion and merits of the case, could reduce such punitive measures.
“The law is, however, very clear that those found on the streets after 21h00 will be arrested accordingly without the choice of a spot fine,’’ he then seriously warned.
He also said three suspects has been arrested accordingly last Saturday night in town for not adhering to the curfew. Meanwhile, regional commander, commissioner David Indongo during a recent Covid-19 media briefing in Keetmanshoop reported that 19 suspects have been arrested and each fined N$4 000 during 30 June 2012 until 5 July 2021 for not adhering to Covid-19 health regulations, especially during funerals.
“Our biggest challenge now in enforcing these regulations is that of the number of people attending funerals of their loved ones,’’ he said.
Indongo explained that although traditional and community rituals are taken into consideration, it can unfortunately not be allowed for more than 10 persons to be present during a burial of a family member.
“As explained previously, food should only be served at the place of burial, preventing mourners to gather afterwards at the place where the deceased lived, thus curbing further spread of the coronavirus by means of large groups of people gathering,’’ the police chief said.
Indongo further said police observed it is particularly older residents who are more prone to contract the virus; they tend to attend funerals in groups exceeding 10 people.
“Our youngsters should stop socialising in large groups, as this is another breeding ground for spreading Covid-19,’’ he then pleaded. The commissioner further gave the assurance that those officials authorised to issue travel permits to residents who wish to travel outside the region will only approve it after strictly scrutinising reasons, which may warrant such travelling accordingly.
“Those who want to leave //Kharas just to visit relatives in other regions should stop this practice, as they will not be allowed to do so,’’ he said.
Indongo also urged residents in the region to strictly adhere to Covid-19 health regulations and protocols, since law enforcement agencies will leave no stone unturned to enforce the law.