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Modalities for harbour town’s hard lockdown finalised

Modalities for harbour town’s hard lockdown finalised

Niël Terblanché

RESIDENTS of Walvis Bay, that are in possession of essential service certificates will be able to use these documents obtained during Stage 1 of the State of Emergency to get to and from work without going through a second screening process.


The Erongo Regional Governor, Neville Andre, during a special briefing on Walvis Bay returning to Stage 1 while the rest of Namibia will progress into Stage 3, said the Regional Council met with health authorities, the security cluster and the Walvis Bay Town Council during an urgent meeting on Friday morning could sort out the most important modalities.


In this regard, people will again have to confine themselves at their places of residence while the hard lockdown is still in place. Only people providing essential services will be allowed to work


Street vendors will not be allowed to trade and all sales of liquor will still be prohibited. Schools will remain closed and might have to restart later than other schools in the country.


Walvis Bay essential service certificates Stage 1
FLATTEN THE CURVE: Erongo regional Governor, Neville Andre, implored residents of Walvis Bay to stay at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the community. – Photo: Niël Terblanché


According to the Governor unnecessary travelling into or out of the Walvis Bay Local Authority Area will not be allowed without the necessary permits.


“I call on everyone in the Walvis Bay municipal area to adhere to the regulations as proclaimed under the State of Emergency. The war against the virus is far from over and only when people adhere to the laws and regulations would we be able to contain the spread of the pandemic,” Andre said.


Andre said because of the spike in new COVID-19 cases registered in Walvis Bay, measures have been taken to identify new quarantine facilities within the boundaries of the harbour town’s district in anticipation of a possible flare-up in positive cases.


“In collaboration with the Regional Health Directorate, the Esplanade accommodation facility in Walvis Bay and the bungalows at Dolphin Park has so far been identified as viable options and will be set aside for this purpose,” he said.


The governor also indicated that 21 medical graduates have been deployed to the Erongo Region of which six will be deployed in Walvis Bay to assist resident health professionals in testing and handling possible new cases. 


“In the same vein, we also ordered more testing kits for the region to speed up the identification of possible new cases. In this regard, the first 200 kits will be arriving in Walvis Bay shortly. More kits are to follow at a later stage,” he said.


He also indicated that work on the new isolation facility at the Walvis Bay State Hospital is progressing swiftly and that it would be ready for use soon.


Andre said all would be needed as 132 people have been identified as primary contacts of the two truck drivers that recently absconded from an isolation facility. He added that secondary contacts still need to be traced and tested.


With regards to safety and security, the governor said that all law enforcement agencies have been reinforced and that patrols in the various residential areas have already resumed. He added that additional roadblocks have been established to control the unnecessary movement of people.


Residents that need to travel outside the Walvis Bay district will have to go through the process of applying for permits from the Namibian Police and other relevant authorities.


The website was reopened to allow people to apply for essential service certificates if they have not done so before.


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