The Republic of Namibia has been praised for its containment of the spread of the coronavirus. Its index case came mid-March, but for 45 days (7 April to 21 May) no new cases were recorded.
Although a few cases have since been recorded since 22 May, the country only has 21 confirmed cases, and 0 deaths from the virus.
Reasons for success
Namibia responded to COVID-19 through a collective response of many stakeholders, both governmental and non-governmental. The government was quick to draw on lessons from other countries that had already been hit by the pandemic, and listened to the advice and received technical support from various stakeholders.
“With confirmation of the first two cases of COVID-19 on 13 March 2020, President Hage G. Geingob acted swiftly within the next 10 hours to ban inbound and outbound travel from Addis Ababa and Doha”, says Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari, spokesperson to the President of Namibia. “A state of emergency was declared by the President with strong emphasis on the health of Namibians as the first priority.”
The closure of its borders on 24 March included a ban of travel into the nation from all countries for a 30-day period. Citizens and permanent residents inside the country were not allowed to leave, whereas those caught outside the borders at the time of the closure were permitted to enter only “if their mission was critical to national interest,” said the health minister. Those people then needed to observe a mandatory and supervised quarantine for 14 days.
Early reaction, fruitful return
These restrictions were put in place when the country had reported only two cases, and this early response was crucial in their success in controlling the virus.
SOURCE: The Africa Report