Erongo residents urged to reduce traveling

Private gatherings at home has become “spreader events”

Sharlien Tjambari

The Namibian Police’s Regional Commander, Commissioner Andreas Nelumbu, says the sheer number of people applying for travel permits to leave the Erongo Region defeats the purposes of the current Covid-19 restrictions.

All non-essential traveling between Namibia’s fourteen regions is prohibited until midnight on 15 July, but hundreds of people so far managed to obtain written approval to travel from Erongo to other regions.
Between 24 July and 7 July, a total of 368 travel permits were issued in Walvis Bay, allowing 476 people of the harbour town to travel out of the region. In Swakopmund 411 travel permits were issued, allowing 757 people to travel. In Karibib 199 travel permits were issued, allowing 220 people to travel.
“If you look at these numbers, approximately one and a half thousand people travelled. It defeats the purpose of travel restrictions’, explained Commissioner Nelumbu. He urged people to refrain from applying for travel permits if not absolutely necessary. Adding the issuing of permits has become a full-time task of police stations.
Commissioner Nelumbu called upon residents of Erongo to exercise patience and assured every resident once the pandemic has been beaten lives will return to normal. For now however, every citizen’s duty is to comply with Covid-19 restrictions, including curbing traveling and unnecessary leaving home.
Commenting on the curfew hours which forms part of the Covid-19 restrictions, Commissioner Nelumbu said a new trend has been developing. With bars, shebeens and restaurants not accommodating patrons (apart from on a take-away basis), people are clustering at homes with private gatherings.
“We are not trying to compromise people’s privacy, but evidence show that private gatherings at home between family and friends have become spreader events, explained Commissioner Nelumbu.

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