Lockdown bites hard

As the number of coronavirus cases increased to 11 in Namibia, the intrusive effects of the Covid-19 state of emergency are being felt across the country, but alcohol continues to flow freely.

30 March 2020 | Disasters

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



The flow of goods and services to Namibia from neighbouring South Africa has been impacted, as trucks were delayed at border posts and Covid-19 lockdown checkpoints on the way to Windhoek. President Hage Geingob personally intervened and received a briefing opposite the Wernhil Park shopping mall in Windhoek on Saturday. In townships like Katutura, there were arrests, while alcohol being drunk on the streets was also confiscated. Meanwhile, authorities are trying to track down all those who have been in contact with three Namibians who are the latest coronavirus cases in the country. The health ministry on Saturday announced that the confirmed cases had increased to 11 and were all travel-related.



National lockdown looms

President Hage Geingob has also directed that the lockdown will be extended to the rest of the country, in order to arrest the further spread of the Covid-19 scourge.

“The modalities for the rest of the country are being fleshed out and shall be imminently communicated to the Namibian public. Efforts are also being made to deal with all the gaps in the implementation of the national strategy to combat Covid-19,” the presidency said in a statement yesterday.



Party-like atmosphere at coast

Meanwhile, Leandrea Louw reports from Walvis Bay that a party-like atmosphere prevailed at the coast, despite the 21-day lockdown commencing in Erongo.

Walvis Bay senior traffic officer Clifton Jacobs said more than 50 people were warned for not adhering to the Covid-19 lockdown measures. He commended members of the taxi industry for doing their part and cooperating with measures introduced to contain the spread of the virus.



“Our biggest concern is that people are simply ignoring the one-metre distance measure at ATMs, banks and in shops. There are still too many children and people on the streets and too many people driving around needlessly. We have a problem and it will not be solved without cooperation. The army is now coordinating the lockdown operation with the police and members of the traffic force.

This is an ongoing operation and it is now in full swing.”

Police community affairs commander for Erongo, Ileni Shapumba, also emphasised the importance of staying indoors. “The movement of people is a concern. We have blocked key roads, especially in Kuisebmond and Mondesa. We have respect for human rights, but people should understand we are in a state of emergency. This must be respected and conditions have to be adhered too. We are intensifying our operations and cannot continue educating people forever.”

Shapumba added it also appears that people are selling alcohol from homes, including some tuck shops. “This behaviour is unacceptable. We call upon all neighbours to observe and give us tip-offs without delay. It's time that our neighbourhood watch groups and community anti-crime forums embrace the concept of observe and report.”

Alcohol flowing

Police officials are experiencing problems closing alcohol establishments, Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi said.

“Closure of liquor outlets and some businesses remains a challenge, perhaps because of the various misleading information being circulated. With the gazetting of the regulations, and the education thereof, it is our belief that the situation will change,” she said.

Several individuals across the country were found to be in contravention of regulation 11 of the state of emergency in the Oshana, Otjozondjupa, Zambezi, Khomas, Erongo, Kunene and //Karas regions. The majority of the contraventions came from Zambezi, with 21.

In the Omusati Region, one suspect was found to be in contravention of the Liquor Act and contravening section 11 of the state of emergency.

Police officials in the region also had to disperse a gathering of about 350 people, who had gathered for pray.

14-day quarantine

Health authorities initially planned to quarantine truck drivers for a period of 14 days, President Hage Geingob was told at an open area opposite the Roman Catholic Hospital in Windhoek.

Upon entry into Namibia, the temperatures of truck drivers were taken while others were stuck in queues of up to three or four days while trying to make their way into the country.

Health ministry executive director Ben Nangombe informed Geingob that Namibian drivers bringing in goods, who do not have to return to South Africa immediately, will be quarantined for 14 days. South African drivers will be allowed to offload goods and return home immediately.

A directive will regulate how they should act to not endanger Namibians.

Several trucks were sent back to South Africa after drivers refused to be quarantined while those opting to be quarantined obliged and were sent to a state facility for the duration of their stay in Namibia.

Drivers who opted not to stay in Namibia had to make the long trek back to South Africa on Saturday evening.

“There is a special dispensation for providers and critical services in order to ensure normal life in the country continues,” health minister Kalumbi Shangula said.



Katutura not complying

In townships like Katutura, there were arrests, while alcohol being drunk on the streets was confiscated.

The City Police had to close off a portion of Eveline Street leading into Independence Avenue on Saturday afternoon, only allowing residents into Greenwell Matongo, Namibian Sun observed.

Multiple taxis not complying with the lockdown measures had to offload their passengers before proceeding with their journeys, while at least one drunk driving incident was witnessed where a driver was locked up in the back of a City Police van on Saturday afternoon.

On Saturday night, Namibian Sun joined the Namibian police on patrol and witnessed multiple incidences in which the lockdown measures were not being followed.

In Wanaheda in Tugela Street, two residents were arrested after a scuffle between two family members.

While bars largely implemented the lockdown measures, alcohol was still being sold illegally across Katutura.

In Katutura Central in Ignatius Loyola Street, the police came across a group of people drinking in the street. A police officer had to intervene, confiscating alcohol in the process and urging people not to drink in the street to comply with the lockdown measures.

The same patrol found two men walking home along Shanghai Street with bottles of beer and ordered them to empty the quarts that they were drinking or face arrest and the N$5 000 spot fine imposed for not complying.

The City Police had to cordon off Eveline Street leading into Independence Avenue in Greenwell Matongo to restrict the movement of people not living there or going in to buy essential goods.

Similar News

 

Manager, son arrested as flames devour Walvis business

2 months ago - 20 July 2021 | Disasters

LEANDREA LOUW WALVIS BAY The Walvis Bay branch of MagicDiscounters, a wholesaler and distributor, was destroyed by a fire yesterday morning.It...

Coastal fires destroy 33 shacks, kill man

2 months ago - 19 July 2021 | Disasters

ADOLF KAURE SWAKOPMUND Thirty-six shacks were completely destroyed during two separate fires at the...

Millions for drought control and water management

3 months ago - 14 June 2021 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKNamibia has received more than N$8 million in seed funding for a groundwater management and drought management project in the Omusati and Kunene regions.The...

More funding needed to fight locusts

3 months ago - 27 May 2021 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKMore funding is required to ensure that agricultural livelihoods are safeguarded by ensuring that the outbreak of locusts in Namibia is brought under control...

Epupa constituency still in dire drought situation

4 months ago - 18 May 2021 | Disasters

NAMPAKHORIXASAn assessment of the drought in the Kunene Region has found that the recent rainfall received there has not made a major impact on the...

Food insecurity at five-year high

4 months ago - 18 May 2021 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEK This is according to the recently-released 2021 Global Report on Food Crises - recently released by an international alliance of the United Nations...

Kunene area a concern for meteorological services

4 months ago - 27 April 2021 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe Kunene Region is highlighted as an area of high concern by the Namibia Meteorological Services, with the region's strong rainfall deficits and sparse...

Katima inferno forensic probe still unfinished

5 months ago - 08 April 2021 | Disasters

Kenya Kambowe RUNDUA forensic investigation into what might have caused a fire that engulfed a multimillion-dollar shopping complex in Katima Mulilo...

Locusts cause havoc in Kavango

6 months ago - 12 March 2021 | Disasters

KENYA KAMBOWEMASHAREMatheus Kasiki, a farmer at Mashare village in Kavango East, says a swarm of locusts destroyed his entire mahangu field last weekend.Kasiki estimates that...

Kunene still in the grip of drought

6 months ago - 10 March 2021 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe hydrological service in the agriculture ministry has warned that contingency planning must be done to help users of the Kunene River.“The Kunene River...

Latest News

How to save with confidence

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | Others

Neville Vries Everyone can save something. Having a goal is the first step. “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you...

Relief from the price monster...

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUStatistics released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) indicated that on a monthly basis, inflation decreased by 0.2% in August 2021 compared to an...

Unam dogged by fraud claims

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | Education

MATHIAS HAUFIKU WINDHOEK The University of Namibia (Unam) is facing criticism from its staffers for allegedly refusing to...

Kennedy Hamutenya - NAMDIA CEO

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

1. What do you bring differently to the table of your career? I served as chairperson and deputy chairperson of Debmarine Namibia, director...

Calista Schwartz CEO,NYC (Treasurer)

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

1. What do you bring different to the table of your...

Business and Intellectual Property Authority...

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

1. What do you bring different to the table of your career?I have had the privilege to work in both the public and private...

Public Enterprises Chief Executive Officers...

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

On 03 June 2021, the 6th annual general meeting of the Public Enterprise Chief Executive Officers Forum (PE CEOs’ Forum), a new PE CEOs’ Forum...

NAMCOR MD, Immanuel Mulunga (Chairperson)

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

1. What unique attributes do you bring to the SOE CEO Forum?I bring a dynamic and transformational leadership to the table...

Maria Nangolo – ED NIPAM,...

2 days ago - 17 September 2021 | People

1. What do you bring different to the table of your career?I am a result driven, leader, strategist and...

Load More