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 10 Jun 2020

CLOSED ... Businesses at the coast have closed after President Hage Geingob announced that it would have to remain on stage 1 lockdown regulations until 22 June. Photo: Ester Mbathera


by Adam Hartman

ERONGO police community affairs commander, Ileni Shapumba said the lockdown of the region is not punishment, but is being done for the protection of the residents.

President Hage Geingob on Monday announced that Erongo will return to stage 1 of emergency regulations, which started yesterday and will end on 22 June.

Walvis Bay returned to stage 1 lockdown just over a week ago after more coronavirus cases were recorded there.

The latest decision by Geingob to put the region in lockdown was based on possible cases of community infections of the virus.

Shapumba yesterday told The Namibian he was concerned the community was not taking the lockdown seriously.

“Last week when Walvis Bay was in lockdown, people continued like everything was normal, and when the police would address them, then everyone will have an excuse. We understand it is not nice but we do not make the rules; we enforce them,” he said.

He noted that the B2 highway out of Erongo into the rest of Namibia was noticeably busy as people 'fled' the lockdown on Monday.

Even at Walvis Bay, which was already in stage 1 lockdown, several buses and taxis were stopped from leaving the town.

He said Erongo has been divided into three zones – Walvis Bay (zone 1); Swakopmund, Henties Bay and Arandis (zone 2); and Usakos, Karibib and Omaruru (zone 3).

Roadblocks will be set up at all these towns to restrict movement. Shapumba said the police were also shocked to see long queues at various bottle stores as people rushed to stock up on alcohol, as its sale is prohibited during stage 1 lockdown.

“There were people that would walk away with a plastic bag or two for their personal use, but there were many people who purchased large amounts of alcohol, which we believe is not for personal use, but to sell illegally,” he said, urging the community to report the illegal sale of alcohol to the police.

Shapumba said there will be a strong presence of law enforcement agencies in the region to ensure the lockdown rules are adhered to.

“We are asking people to work with us; not against us. We are in this together. If we work together, we can ensure these type of emergency measures will not become frequent,” he said.


SOURCE: The Namibian