Covid-19: Violators face 10 years in jail

Those who do not comply with public health regulations can be sentenced to a fine of up to N$100 000 or 10 years’ imprisonment, the health minister announced yesterday.

24 December 2020 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK

Starting today, the sale of alcohol is restricted to between 09:00 and 20:00 from Monday to Saturday, while the wearing of masks remains mandatory.

Those who do not adhere to the regulations can be sentenced to a fine of up to N$100 000 or 10 years’ imprisonment.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula made this announcement yesterday.

He also declared a new curfew between 21:00 and 04:00 effective from today until 13 January 2021.

The number of people at public gatherings may not exceed 50, Shangula also announced.

Curfew

The minister said the curfew would help to contain the spread of the virus because the movement of people is the biggest driver of the transmission of Covid-19.

“When people get together, they stop wearing masks and fail to social distance. With the curfew, it means there will be no place to go and drink and no congregation of people and we limit person-to-person contact and so we limit the transmission,” he said.

This comes amid an escalating number of Covid-19 cases which have overwhelmed the country’s health facilities.

“All businesses, including informal markets, are required to ensure that all their patrons or persons present in their premises sanitise their hands with alcohol-based hand sanitisers; alternatively, they wash their hands with soap and water,” the minister said.

Shangula also announced that people who die of Covid-19 may now be buried within seven days instead of f 72 hours.

He added that tourists to Namibia can now enter the country with a negative Covid-19 test result valid for seven days as opposed to the current 72 hours requirement.

Grave threat

“The second wave of Covid-19 pandemic currently unfolding in our country poses a serious threat to us all. It will require a common and united front for us to stem the tide.

“If we do not stand together to confront this enemy, the avalanche of positive cases, seriously ill compatriots and dying countrymen and women will overwhelm us.

“The choice is ours to make. Do we continue to ignore the preventive measures and face ghastly consequences, or do we change course now, while we still have time, and protect our country from certain devastation?

“This is the stark choice facing our nation. We, as Namibians, must make the call. I am confident that we will make the right choice,” Shangula said.

[email protected]

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