Partial lockdown for 21 days

Estelle de Bruyn

Stay at home! That is the urgent appeal of Erongo governor, Cleophas Mutjavikua.

At a news conference in Swakopmund on Thursday, he reiterated the fact that the Erongo region is under partial lockdown as from midnight tonight. All people who can work from home are encouraged to do so.
For the next 21 days no one will be allowed to travel into or out of the region. To this effect roadblocks will be established on routes leading to Khomas, Kunene and Otjizonjupa. For urgent travel motorists will have to produce the necessary documentation as proof.
“Travel only when necessary. Try to stay at home. People can go to shops to buy food or to pharmacies to get medication. Let us not act like everything is normal, because it is not,” Mutjavikua said.
He also gave the assurance that no one in the Erongo Region has tested positive with Covid-19 (Corona virus). Some people who had been in contact with a person who tested positive, have been tested and were advised to self-quarantine.
“This virus is not mobile. It is moved by people, so please, limit the movement of people,” Mutjavikua urged.
Shebeens will be allowed to stay open till 18:00 and restaurants will be allowed to serve take-away meals. Mutajvikua however advised against seating customers. The same rule will apply to shebeens, where people will not be allowed to linger. They will however be able to buy drinks to be taken home.
All taxis and public transport will have to provide sanitisers to customers.
Mutjavikua made an urgent appeal to learners to adhere to the partial lockdown, now that schools are closed. “I saw some children playing soccer outside. That is irresponsible,” he said. Parents must also understand that children should stay at home, as the current arrangement that schools are closed is not for holiday, but to protect lives.
If children go out, they are advised to keep a distance of one meter between themselves and others.
The regional authority has ordered 150 beds for isolation wards, 75 for Walvis Bay’s and 75 for Swakopmund’s state hospital. More ventilators will also be ordered as well as masks, protective clothing and sanitisers for medical staff.
“We are seriously working to ensure that we have the applicable equipment and to make sure that we are ready. We should have the two isolation centres up and running in two to three weeks’ time,” he explained.
After negotiations with mayors of the various towns and NamWater, Clr. Mutjavikua said he is confident that the water supply to disconnected accounts will be reconnected by next week.
He however said NamWater staff initially did “some bickering” as if they were unaware of the state of emergency and “what the President had said.”
Discussions were also held with Swakop Uranium and CNCC Rössing to limit the movement of people for the next 21 days.
“There is no reason for the people to panic. There are however ample reasons to act responsibly and with logic. If we don’t act responsibly, we will have an abnormal and socially intolerable situation on our hands,” Mutjavikua warned.

To read more: pick up your copy of the Namib Times at any retail outlet in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. Available in Windhoek at selected stores, at Arandis (Shoprite and Arandis Service Station); Usakos; Henties Bay (Spar; Woermann Brock) and Windhoek (Windhoek: Shoprite Maerua Mall; Shoprite Katutura; Shoprite Ind. Av; Shoprite Lafrenz Industrial; Shoprite Okurayangava; Shoprite U-Save; Fountain OK Foods (Baines); Maerua Superspar).

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