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Namibia plans #Covid19 lockdown exit

───   19:00 Wed, 15 Apr 2020

Namibia plans #Covid19 lockdown exit | News Article

The government of Namibia has established committees to work out exit plans for the Covid-19 lockdown, Namibian media reported.

According to a report in the Namibian newspaper, Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said various sectors had set up committees to strategise on how the country could recover when the lockdown was lifted.

Last month, the government imposed a 21-day partial lockdown of Rehoboth, Windhoek, Okahandja and the Erongo region. This lockdown was due to lapse on April 17 but, on Tuesday President Hage Geingob extended the lockdown to May 4, for the entire country with effect from April 18.

"We have an economic and social sector exit strategy because the whole country has closed down. The economy is no longer functioning as it should be. Society is no longer living the way it used to live. As a government, we have committees drawing up strategies on how to start the economy and have it functioning again,” the minister told the daily newspaper.

The education committee was looking at what would happen with education after the lockdown, she said.

“We also have a welfare sector. Currently we are taking care of people from different sectors of our society. The media has been helpful in communicating to the nation what is happening. In Windhoek, we are hosting the homeless at different places. After the lockdown, are we going to allow them to live under bridges? So, we are working on strategies on how to deal with these situations,” she said.

Meanwhile, state-owned daily newspaper New Era reported that many churches in the country were feeling the financial strain from being closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Churches stopped conducting services around March 15 to avoid congregants gathering in large crowds. 

Reverend Andreas Biwa from the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church in Namibia told the daily newspaper that they were hard hit. 

Biwa, who is administrative assistant of the bishop for the Namibia annual conference, said they were responsible for the well-being of staff, including gardeners, while the church has a commitment to honour mortgages and municipal services.

Bishop for the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church Namibia, Lukas Kaluwapa said they had full-time ministers who depended on the members of the congregation for their material and temporal survival and it was obvious that they were affected.

Pastor Fred Joseph of the Apostolic Faith Mission River of Life told the newspaper that the impact would definitely start showing at the end of the month, as most churches depended on the weekly offerings to pay staff and for church facilities.

African News Agency (ANA)

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