AS Namibians face the scourge of the deadly and devastating coronavirus, it is vital that they demonstrate the values of solidarity, unity, empathy and maintain their sense of community.
President Hage Geingob during a briefing about measures that will be implemented during the lockdown of the Khomas and Erongo regions for next 21 days said the lockdown of the entire country will follow eventually and that the nation should act resolutely while they do everything possible to combat the spread of COVID-19.
During his address to the nation, President Geingob said that eight people have so far tested positive for infection.
“As announced, the lockdown of the Khomas and Erongo regions, including Okahandja and Rehoboth will come into force tonight, Friday 27 March 2020, for a period of 21 days, ending at midnight on 17 April 2020,”
Geingob said the lockdown is a necessary measure undertaken by the Government to protect Namibians from this devastating public health threat.
“We must act and we must act, resolutely. As I said before, the health of the Namibian people is our highest priority.”
During the briefing, the President was supported by various other ministers, who provided details on the guidelines, regulations and defined the essential and critical services during the lock period.
“These bold and aggressive measures are going to challenge us as a nation, but we believe it is for the greater good. The cost of not acting, on time will be far greater than the inconveniences we may face today. The lockdown of Khomas and Erongo regions, which will be followed by the whole country later on, will therefore be accompanied by continued public health response to provide screening, testing, contact tracing, quarantine, isolation and medical management,” Geingob said.
He indicated that Government offices, Ministries and Agencies have begun the process to reduce staff complement in the office and employees have been permitted to work from home.
“Those who will be required to work from home, we appeal that they fulfil their duties as expected by the employer. We also appeal to those who will be required to report for duty as essential services, to do so. These measures will be reviewed regularly as we scale up our national response to COVID-19. During this time let us demonstrate the values of solidarity, unity and empathy. It is not only about this deadly scourge during this period, it is vitally important that we maintain our sense of community,” he said.
The President quoted Psalm 121:1-2 from the Bible: “I will lift up my eyes to the hills- From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” and called on the faith-based community to intercede on behalf of the nation, every day between 13h00 and 14h00, for the duration of the lockdown period and beyond.
“I call on all Namibians to stay at home during this time. By staying home you are contributing greatly to the fight against the further spread of the disease and helping our public health system to respond to those who will need the services most. We have a chance today, to contain and arrest the further spread of this disease – if we stay at home and cooperate with the efforts of Government.”
The President again appealed for calm and cooperation with the authorities and law enforcement agencies.