Southern and Eastern Africa COVID-19 Digest (Discontinued on 31 Aug 2020)

Situation Report
Namibia — Trends

Country further eases COVID-19 lockdown, cases escalate in July

  • First case: 14 March 2020

  • Total number of cases: 2,294 (as of 2 August 2020)

  • Total deaths: 11

  • Schools: Open partially since 2 June

  • Borders/Flights: Commercial flights not operating. Road borders closed for non-resident foreign nationals, with exceptions including people seeking medical treatment, essential services, truck drivers transporting food and other essential commodities.

  • Containment measures: State of Emergency declared 17 March; self-quarantine for returning residents and nationals; mandatory quarantine in isolation facilities for symptomatic cases; ban on gatherings of more than 50 people; clubs, casinos and gambling houses are closed.

Situation:

The COVID-19 outbreak in Namibia has escalated dramatically in recent weeks, with cases increasing ten-fold from 203 on 1 July to 2,294, with 11 deaths, as of 2 August. From 23 June, the Government reportedly eased the nationwide coronavirus-related lockdown to the lowest level in 13 of its 14 regions. While most of the country moved from phase three to four, Erongo Region was placed in phase three to avoid an upsurge in cases. The Ministry Health has reported a backlog of 1,500 coronavirus tests in Erongo region, a major hotspot for the outbreak in Namibia. The Ministry is planning to engage private service providers to assist with the testing of samples and will collaborate with the Erongo Regional Council to identify more quarantine and isolation facilities to accommodate the increasing number of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients in the region.

With the relaxation, all business, including restaurants and bars, can operate under normal working hours, but alcohol sales are for takeaway only. Gatherings of as many as 250 people for weddings, funerals and religious services are permitted, while the attendance at schools remains voluntary. The State of Emergency declared on 17 March was extended by the Parliament for a period of six months. The borders will remain closed.

Response:

  • On 1 April 2020, the Government launched Economic Stimulus and Relief Package to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 for approximately US$434.5 million (8 billion Namibian Dollars, or 4.25 per cent of GDP), including approximately $119.5 million (2.2 billion) for health, wage subsidies, and income grants; and guarantees of up to $124.9 million (2.3 billion) to support low interest loans for small and agricultural businesses, and individuals.

Official sources:

Namibia Presidency Official Twitter and Ministry of Health and Social Services Twitter

Presidential Statement on extension of lockdown

Other links:

Namibian lockdown: Travel with permit allowed, by Namibian newspaper

COVID-19 Educational Disruption and Response, by UNESCO

COVID-19 World Travel Restrictions, by the Emergency Division of the World Food Programme (WFP)

Global COVID-19 Airport Status, by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

Policy Responses to COVID-19, by IMF

URL:

Downloaded: