State of emergency – here are the measures

18 March 2020 | Disasters

The following measures have been put in place under the state of emergency announced by government on Tuesday.

Court and hearings
All court hearings will take place without public attendance. According to health and social services minister, Kalumbi Shangula, “all pending matters in court will be postponed in absentia for 30 days.”
Government has also ordered that separate detention facilities be availed for incoming accused persons or suspects and that routine screening for COVID-19 should be conducted before admission. Decongestion procedures will also be implement at police cells.
“For a period of 30 days following the adoption of this measure, visits to correctional facilities and police holding cells should be restricted to limited numbers of family members as determined by the relevant authorities,” Shangula said.

Health facilities
Health facilities (private and state-owned) are mandated to immediately report all suspected COVID-19 cases using set definitions as well as taking specimens and packaging according to the set standard operating procedures. In addition, a triage system and mandatory screening should be implemented at all health facilities countrywide.
The health ministry is also tasked with coordinating the provision of protective clothing for personnel.
Deaths and funerals related to COVID-19 will be handled by the government with psychological support to the family.

For the next 30 days, large gatherings of more than 50 people will be suspended. This includes schools, religious gatherings, weddings, funerals and all parades for uniformed forces.

Public transport
For 30 days following the adoption of this measure, owners of public transport are to provide hand sanitisers and masks to all their clients.

Accommodation establishments countrywide have amongst others been directed to provide sanitisers and masks to all staff and to note the full travel history and next destination of guests.

Economic impact
On the economic side of things, government has ordered all its offices, ministries and agencies to explore the possible impact of coronavirus on their business. Furthermore, Namibian officials must engage their South African counterparts as a matter of urgency on the reciprocity of visa arrangement for business people and on the exit and entry points that should not be closed to allow for the flow of trade and further mitigate shortage of suppliers (consumable goods) to Namibia.
Finally, the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Namibia have been directed to conduct a thorough impact assessment of COVID-19 on the economy, as well as on the financial stability, and the outcome should be presented at the next meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the Economic Sector.

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