Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
# INFECTED: 1,032
# ACTIVE: 999
# TESTED: 16,305

With its silence to the re-opening of borders the government risks the collapse the travel industry. This was declared today by the umbrella association Fenata in a media release. In a desperate appeal, the organisation called on the government to finally “committing to a date and pronouncing an ‘all-of-government’ support for a gradual and carefully considered tourism recovery”.

Fenata did not explicitly mention the controversial issue of the 14-day quarantine for all travellers. Instead, the association emphasised that the industry had been working hard since the lockdown at the end of March to put together comprehensive measures to prevent the spread of the corona virus in travel operations. It referred to the “Tourism Toolkit” published by the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) in May.

Death before the start

The government has apparently tacitly abandoned its announced tourism revival initiative. The start date was yesterday. Until August 15, a limited number of tourists from carefully selected countries should be allowed to enter – there was talk of Germany, one of the most important travel markets for Namibia. Requirements included a negative PCR test, which must not be older than three days, and 14 days of quarantine (see the Proclamation of the President on 28 June 2020, sections 10 (3) and (4) and 11).

Industry representatives had discussed with the government until last week about modalities for the initiative. According to a leaked working paper, the cabinet was proposed to limit the quarantine to three days. The traveller should also be able to choose between accommodations that are registered for quarantine. The cabinet usually meets on Tuesdays. To date, there has been no government statement.

More than 1,000 cases

After 364 new confirmed corona infections in the past six days, the number of cases has exceeded the thousand mark today. Yesterday there was a new daily record with 96 cases. It was not explained why the official total of known cases (1,032) is one higher than the calculated result (667 + 364 = 1,031).

According to Health Minister Kalumbi Shangula, with 345 new infections in six days Walvis Bay remains the corona epicenter. Among them is Corona’s second casualty in Namibia: a 44-year-old man who died at home in Walvis Bay. The subsequent test result was positive.

Corona now nationwide

The geographical distribution of the remaining 19 cases shows that the COVID-19 virus is now present in all parts of the country. Swakopmund reported five cases, Engela and Oshakati in the north each one case (both imported from Walvis Bay). Seven people tested positive in the south: four in Keetmanshoop (including two truck drivers from South Africa), two in Karasburg and one in Lüderitz.

Windhoek has among its four confirmed cases probably for the first time a local infection: According to Shangula, the person concerned reported to the hospital on his own initiative. The minister did not mention any details.

Good news at the end: Six people are considered to have fully recovered. Shangula mentioned only four: Case 17 in Keetmanshoop and cases no. 33, 38 and 186.