Young people must curb their party instincts to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, the authorities warned yesterday With 1 008 Covid-19 deaths and over 9 000 active cases in the country, the police yesterday sternly cautioned the public and reminded them of the danger and risks of defiance of the stipulated health protocols, while the ministry of health reminded young people that they are not immune to Covid-19.
The warning came after videos went viral on social media of a large crowd of young people partying, many without masks, allegedly after a funeral of a Covid-19 victim.
“The current defiance of the Covid-19 regulations, especially on public gatherings, by anyone is deemed as a form of carelessness and the security cluster will no longer condone such carelessness,” said police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, adding that they would take action, especially against organisers of such gatherings but attendees will not be exempted. Shikwambi advised that people should consider postponing music shows, entertainment events and weddings,and that events that cannot be postponed should strictly adhere to the stipulated regulations.
“We urge and humbly request everyone to abide by the Covid-19 health protocols; moreover, to consider getting their vaccine so we reduce the prevalence of the spread of the virus,” said Shikwambi.
Reacting to the same video, executive director in the ministry of health Ben Nangombe cautioned that the perception that the youth cannot fall sick or die from Covid-19 is undermining government’s efforts in fighting the pandemic and should be dismissed immediately.
He warned that the ministry has recorded fatalities of young people who have succumbed to Covid-19; thus, the perception that youth cannot be infected is wrong and misleading, noting that this perception contributes to the reckless behaviour of some young people in following Covid-19 protocols when they are in public spaces.
“Some of the young people are under a mistaken impression and belief that perhaps they will not get ill when they contract Covid-19. We have already seen mortalities experienced among people of a younger age, and have seen mortalities among school-going children. More importantly, these young people who are behaving in such an irresponsible fashion are taking this virus back home to their parents, who are more vulnerable to the virus,” said Nangombe.
He lashed out that the irresponsible behaviour of some young people is the source of more cases and deaths that have been recorded in the country recently, which is also contributing to the immense pressure the country’s health system is currently experiencing.
“People who are engaging in this type of behaviour need to be dealt with by
the law enforcement agencies so that we can make an example of them. This virus is serious but then we have people going around, disregarding health protocols,” stated Nangombe.
Shikwambi said the nation cannot depend on the security cluster to police the entire nation on health-related matters, but that the current statistics and the nation’s moral consciousness should guide it to do the right thing.
Namibia has in the last week announced record numbers of positive cases of around 1 000 per day.
At the time of going to print yesterday, the country had accumulated 1 008 Covid-19 deaths.
Students as well as a teachers’ unions have asked for schools to be closed, as numbers have flared up among learners and teachers, and many schools have had to shut down for days.
President Hage Geingob is expected to address the nation today on new response measures adopted by government to fight the pandemic.
- Additional reporting from Nampa.