Namibia relaxes restrictions, but Walvis Bay returns to hard lockdown
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Rustenburg – Walvis Bay is returning to stage one of Namibia's Covid-19 lockdown as the rest of the country moves to a more relaxed stage three, local media reported on Monday.
According to a report in the daily newspaper, The Namibian, all 14 regions in Namibia moved to stage three of the lockdown exit strategy for the next 28 days except for Walvis Bay, which returns to stage one until June 8.
The complete lockdown of the coastal town follows two concurrent Covid-19 cases being detected.
The two people who tested positive for the virus reportedly made contact with more than 100 people in Walvis Bay.
The lockdown would be monitored weekly and could be extended, according to authorities.
The New Era newspaper reported a third person tested positive for Covid-19 in the city, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 24.
The latest case was a 51-year-old Namibian man linked to a 63-year-old man who had tested positive. Both were crew members on the same vessel that arrived on May 5 from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where it had delivered a consignment of salt and fish.
The men were part of eight crew members consisting of four Namibians and four foreign nationals believed to be working on the vessel. It is presumed they came into contact with an infected person while offloading cargo.
All crew members reportedly did not disembark from the vessel in the DRC, but Congolese nationals entered the ship.
Namibian health minister Kalumbi Shangula has said that Walvis Bay was a major destination for travellers from high-risk countries.
He said stage one regulations included the closure of schools and higher education institutions, the prohibition of public gatherings of more than 10 people, the banning of travel without a permit as well as the sale of alcohol and the restriction of movement.
Stage three involves the relaxation of some regulations, and allows gatherings of over 50 people to take place.
During stage three, Namibia's borders would remain closed and the restriction on cross-border movement would remain in place, with the exception of the transportation of goods.