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Third wave derails recovery efforts

2021-07-02  Maihapa Ndjavera

Third wave derails recovery efforts
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Analysts have warned about the escalating economic impact of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, and have urged compliance with precautionary health measures. 

This, analysts caution, is to avoid another full- blown lockdown as Namibia has been recording an increasing number of positive cases and deaths in recent weeks.

Local economist Omu Kakujaha-Matundu forecast double-digit contractions for the domestic economy, despite the recent resumption of economic activity. He predicted that the devastating third wave is going to worsen the productive situation in the country, adding that “we could expect more firms folding, owing to the current harsher containment measures.”

“With Namibia listed as a no-go area by our major tourism markets, things look very gloomy. The third wave will throw a spanner in the works. So, we should brace for slow and painful recovery,” Kakujaha-Matundu warned.

During the last monetary policy announcement, Bank of Namibia governor Johannes !Gawaxab stated that the domestic economy is expected to grow by 2.7% in 2021. The central bank chief also warned against another lockdown as a curbing measure, saying it may harm the economy further.

Meanwhile, finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi said
during a CNN interview on Tuesday that the pandemic is significantly disrupting the economy, which was predicted to recover this year.

“The recent increase in cases is setting us back. We are trying to stabilise the situation, hoping in the next few months the situation will be stable again so that the economy can get back to its path of recovery,” Shiimi told CNN’s Richard Quest.   

The finance minister added that there is a need to constrain mobility if Government is to fight the further spread of the pandemic. “If we lock down completely, we are more
likely to damage and disrupt the economy,” he also warned. 

President Hage Geingob on the occasion of the 30th Covid-19 public briefing on the national response measures on Wednesday said to suppress further transmission of the virus, government is taking the difficult but necessary measure to extend the restriction in travel to all regions.

“While a full social and economic lockdown has proven to be effective in slowing transmission rates,
it must be used sparingly as it also spurs adverse effects to the
economy, business, jobs and livelihoods. Under the current circumstances facing our country, this difficult step must be taken,” stated the President.

The third Covid-19 wave in the country is also expected by analysts to lead to an ever-increasing toll on the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable, while negatively impacting investment, productivity and growth. 

-mndjavera@nepc.com.na


2021-07-02  Maihapa Ndjavera

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