Free us: Walvis Bay, Swakop residents 'gatvol'

27 July 2020 | Health

Leandrea Louw

WALVIS BAY



Walvis Bay and Swakopmund residents converged at the Yianni Savva police station, situated between the two towns, demanding to be freed from the lockdown and saying they are fed up.

The Erongo Region finds itself in stage three of the lockdown until 3 August, with travelling restrictions in place for Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis. Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula yesterday afternoon announced that Namibia recorded 88 new Covid-19 cases, one death and three recoveries.

The new cases include 62 from Walvis Bay, 19 from Swakopmund, one from Mariental, one from Keetmanshoop and five from Windhoek.

The nationally tally of confirmed cases thus stood at 1 775 yesterday afternoon. Swakopmund-based doctor Wolfgang Tietz told protesters on Saturday: “We need to protect our people, we need them to work, earn money and feed themselves.

The best defence against the virus is healthy food, sunshine and exercise. When they lock us down, we cannot work, we don't have food and how are we supposed to defend ourselves? Defeating this virus through a lockdown or isolation does not work.

Give us back our jobs, our livelihoods.”



Struggling and fed up

Irvin Summers said residents are “struggling and fed up”.

“We want this lockdown to be lifted. If this does not happen by 3 August, we will stage a protest at the harbour. We will stop anything from going in or coming out! We are going to stand together as one.”

Joachim von Wietersheim added that government should find different solutions instead of placing residents on lockdown. “Obviously, the virus is a danger.

If we can't work and earn an income, people will suffer and die from various reasons other than Covid-19.

I am not saying the virus is not a reality and it's not there, but we need to find a different approach.”

Von Wietersheim said it is clear that the virus will be around for a long time. “Preventing people from travelling and preventing money moving into the economy will not help us. It seems that our government is not understanding this and that's why we are here today.”