Namibia economy can ill afford a second lockdown: official

Johannes Gawaxab (L), central bank governor of Namibia, hands over medical equipment to Namibia's Health Minister Kalumbi Shangula in Namibia's capital Windhoek on Jan. 20, 2021. (Photo by Snow Douglas/Xinhua)
Johannes Gawaxab (L), central bank governor of Namibia, hands over medical equipment to Namibia’s Health Minister Kalumbi Shangula in Namibia’s capital Windhoek on Jan. 20, 2021. (Photo by Snow Douglas/Xinhua)

Namibia’s economy can ill afford a second COVID-19 lockdown, the country’s central bank governor, Johannes Gawaxab cautioned on Wednesday.

Gawaxab during a donation of COVID-19 equipment worth 3 million Namibia dollars (200,000 U.S. dollars) to the country’s Ministry of Health reiterated that any lockdown, even if it is contained and partial, could have a severe long-lasting impact on the already ailing economy.

“The damage caused could take years to undo,” he said, adding that it is sensible to prevent a further deterioration in the COVID-19 matrix in Namibia by focusing on prevention and containment.

According to the governor, through consultations, the donations which include personal protective equipment (PPEs), oxygen machines, among others, are tailored to assist various needs in the hospitals across the country.

Speaking at the handover of the donation, Namibia’s Health Minister, Kalumbi Shangula said the donation came at an opportune time as cases across the country continue to spike, and health workers are bearing the brunt of the pandemic.