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 29 May 2020

SERIOUS ... People at the coastal towns of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund have started taking extra precautions to protect themselves and their families following the recent confirmation of two coronavrus infections at Walvis Bay. The health ministry has since been tracing people with whom the two infected men came into contact. Photo: Taati Niilenge


RECENT news reports concerning Covid-19 cases at Walvis Bay have brought home the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic to residents of the Erongo region.

President Hage Geingob on Thursday announced that Walvis Bay would remain under strict stage 1 Covid-19 regulations after two coronavirus infections were confirmed at the harbour town over the past week.

The health ministry has already traced and tested people who have come into contact with the most recent and critical case of a 63-year-old man who arrived at Walvis Bay from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on a fishing vessel on 5 May with eight other crew members.

The crew members were still on the fishing vessel after their colleague was admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital at Walvis Bay, where he was reported to be in a critical condition.

"I would really not mind being confined to my house this time. I guess it is only when reality hits close to you that you see the seriousness of the matter. We don't know how many people are walking around with this virus anymore after that truck driver, and the man from the vessel. We need to be serious now,” said Nelago Jonas, a Walvis Bay resident.

Most people started relaxing after the lockdown was lifted on 4 May but have become reluctant to move around more freely.

"I must admit that I did not really take this corona story serious enough. While I let my children run around freely in this neighbourhood, I now prefer them to be inside. I am stocking up on essentials again. Anybody out there in this town could be infected," said Ndahafa Simon.

Meanwhile, some residents at Swakopmund fear that the virus might have already spread to their town.

“People are using public transportation, and people from Swakopmund might also have gotten in touch with the virus somehow. There is no more time for ignorance. The entire country needs to just start being careful,” said Cornelia Shitona.

Some mask sellers who have been making money through adult mask sales say people started ordering masks for children since Wednesday, while they previously did not think it was necessary.

SOURCE: The Namibian