ANGOLAN nationals that continue to cross the border into Namibia illegally amidst lockdown measures has raised concerns that Namibia’s efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic may fail.
To date, Namibia’s northern neighbour, Angola has registered a total of 45 confirmed cases of infection with the novel coronavirus and two deaths related to COVD-19.
Speaking at press briefing on Angolan nationals seeking medical attention via the border, Namibia Health Ministry’s deputy executive director, Petronella Masabane, said that there has been a lot of border crossing of
Angolans into Namibia especially at parts of the border where there are no border posts.
Masabane further explained that the health ministry is working in conjunction with law enforcement to curb the illegal movement of foreign nationals into the country.
She added that currently Namibia shares a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which allows Angolan nationals which live on the fringes of the border to seek medical attention in Namibia and vice versa.
Masabane however stated that Angolan nationals are not allowed to enter the country but to rather give their health passports over to border post officials who in turn disinfect the documents and forward to health professionals who refill chronic medication prescriptions.
The Namibian government under Stage 2 regulations of the State of Emergency declared on account of the coronavirus has implemented stringent restrictions on cross border movement with non-citizens not being allowed into the country.
She further stated that the movement of Angolan nationals as well as some Namibians across the border creates a huge burden on the government funds, as quarantining and the testing these individuals require resources.
Masabane also said that government has revised its policy on individuals self-quarantining at home, and as such, all quarantining will be done via government designated facilities.
She added that minors who return back into the country will be allowed to go into a quarantine facility with a parent or family member.