As Covid-19 numbers escalate throughout Namibia, the police have urged events organisers to adhere to the Covid-19 health regulations that limit 50 people per gathering or face the consequences.
The deputy inspector general of operations in the Namibian Police Force, Joseph Shikongo, explained there is an outcry of concerned citizens that Covid-19 cases are skyrocketing, mostly contracted from large gatherings.
“I want to assure the public that any organiser who will be found hosting more than 50 people as per the new regulation will be arrested and face the law,” he said.
During the 28th Covid-19 briefing of Covid-19 general regulations on Friday, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said authorised public gatherings will be reduced from the current 100 to a maximum of 50 people per event – both indoors and outdoors.
Kalumbi said public gatherings, including but not limited to weddings, funerals and church events are responsible for many infections.
On Sunday, the ministry of health announced 482 new infections and six deaths.
The minister further made it clear that participants in authorised training activities and workshops are encouraged, as far as possible, to participate via virtual platforms.
Shikongo also warned other violators of regulations, saying the police will closely access every situation and people will be punished accordingly.
“People must understand that these are not police measures. They need to know that the police are enforcing these regulations to combat the deadly virus that is claiming people’s lives,” he said.
He explained that the first thing the police want is for people to understand the impact of the virus and start complying with the rules without being forced.
“We do not want to operate in a way that we force people to wear masks – and when we leave the place, they remove it. At least people must understand why they must wear their mask at all times – why they must
not attend large gatherings, and to sanitise all the times. However, if the situation becomes out of hand, the police will act accordingly,” he explained.
Shikongo further registered his disappointment in the residents who are violating the curfew regulation.
The curfew time starts from 22h00 until 04h00.
“People are moving up and down unnecessary. We want people with legitimate movement and documents to be the ones moving in the hours of curfew. People need to respect the regulations,” he said.
On shebeens and restaurants, Shikongo explained those who are constantly defying the regulations will be taken to court for their places to be closed.