Namibia eases COVID-19 containment measures as positivity rate declines

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FILE PHOTO: Namibia Dr. Hage Geingob delivers an address at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government Institute of Politics John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum moderated by Calestous Juma in Cambridge, MA on Wednesday, September 28, 2016. (Photo by Paul Marotta )
FILE PHOTO: Namibian President Hage Geingob delivers an address at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Institute of Politics John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum in Cambridge, September 28, 2016. (Photo by Paul Marotta via CFP)

Namibian President Hage Geingob on Friday announced eased COVID-19ocntainment measures set to take effect from Sunday for two weeks.

The president announced that schools will be allowed to resume face-to-face learning, travel around the country will be allowed, restaurants and food establishments will be allowed to resume on-site meals subject to compliance with health and safety protocols as well as the reopening of indoor and outdoor swimming pools and playgrounds.

Large public gatherings remain banned, with a maximum limit of 50 persons per event.

A nationwide nighttime curfew also remains in force from 22h00 to 04h00 daily, with only essential personnel allowed movement in this period.

President Geingob also announced that the validity of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test results will be reduced from seven days to 72 hours for all travelers entering the country.

The president noted that the country had seen a decline in the number of daily new infections in recent weeks. The Southern African country has recorded a positivity rate of 28 percent in the last two weeks, down from more than 40 percent at the beginning of July.

“The numbers of new infections have reduced, concomitant with lower number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19.  More isolation and ICU beds are becoming available in the public and private sector health facilities.  These are signs of progress in suppressing the transmission, across the country,” he said.

He urged Namibians to continue adhering to the COVID-19 health protocols to continue hindering further spread of the virus.

“Now is not the time to waver, now is not the time to falter, but now is the time to strengthen our resolve and keep fighting in order to defeat COVID-19 and commence with rebuilding our economy,” he said.

By Friday, Namibia had reported a total of 117,896 infections with 2,970 virus-related deaths.

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