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Namibia to announce tough measures

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Task force handling the outbreak

NAMIBIA was expected to announce additional drastic measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, local media reported on Tuesday.

The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation said an announcement would be made following a meeting by the task force handling the outbreak, after a Namibian man tested positive for Covid-19, bringing to four the total numbers of confirmed cases in the country.

The public broadcaster reported that the 19-year-old was a student who returned from the United Kingdom on March 18. He has been quarantined and was in a stable condition.

A response team was following up with all those who may have come into contact with the student.

The Romanian couple who initially tested positive while in Namibia had recovered from the virus, state-owned daily newspaper The New Era reported, citing health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula.

“We are busy making arrangements for their return to their country,” Shangula said.

A German national who had also arrived in Namibia from Amsterdam via Zimbabwe also tested positive.

“There are still no known cases of local transmission in Namibia, and no Covid-19 deaths,” said Shangula.

He said none of the 35 Namibians who returned to the country on Saturday from the Netherlands were displaying any symptoms of Covid-19.

The 35 are currently under supervised quarantine at the Greiters conference centre on the outskirts of the capital Windhoek.

Another group of Namibians is expected to arrive on March 26 from the Netherlands.

The government has declared a state of emergency and put in place strict measures to curb the further spread of the coronavirus, including suspending the issuance of visas to foreign nationals from high-risk countries including China, Iran, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and countries in the Schengen area comprising European states that have officially abolished all passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders.

Namibia’s Treasury has allocated N$124 million (about R146 million) to help contain the virus.