23 Februar 2021 | Wirtschaft

Consumers spend millions to fight Covid

Namibia last year more than double its imports of disinfectants, face masks, oxygen and respiration apparatus in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Data supplied by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) shows nearly N$87.6 million worth of these items were imported in total, about N$46 million or 110% more than in 2019.

The biggest increase was recorded in the category for ozone therapy, oxygen therapy, aerosol therapy and respiration apparatus, which jumped by nearly 250%. Total imports of these items last year amounted to some N$30.05 million, about N$21.5 million more than in 2019.

In 2019, imports in this category exceeded N$1 million only twice – in January and December. Last year, imports of more than N$1 million were recorded in six of the 12 months. In March (about N$1.8 million); June (N$1.46 million), August (N$1.9 million); September (N$3.38 million); October (N$6.8 million) and December (N$9.8 million).



Sanitisers

Total imports of disinfectants or sanitisers came in just below N$27 million, up nearly N$11.9 million or 78.4% from 2019.

The biggest increase was recorded in April when Namibia was in a national lockdown. Nearly N$8.3 million worth of disinfectants entered the country, up about N$7.3 million or 801% compared to April 2019.

Imports spiked again in September and October, registering annual increases of 235% and 108% respectively.

However, in November and December when Namibia was hit by a second wave of Covid-19 infections, imports of disinfectants dropped sharply on a monthly basis. Compared to August, September and October – when imports exceeded N$1.25 million per month – disinfectants worth only N$458 377 and N$249 488 respectively were imported. It picked up to N$566 130 in January 2021.

On an annual basis, imports in November and December were 8.2% and 57.9% respectively lower. January 2021's was considerable lower than imports of nearly N$2.8 million a year ago. NSA stats show imports in the category “other breathing appliances and gas masks” in 2020 amounted to nearly N$30.6 million, an increase of around N$12.6 million or 70.1%.

The most spent on imports in this category in 2019 was N$2.38 million in July. Last year, imports exceeded N$2 million in six months. It peaked at N$5.95 million in April and touch N$5 million both in March and May.

Imports dropped to below N$850 000 in both October and November, before picking up to nearly N$1.5 million in December. In January 2021, imports dropped to N$427 371, a drop of nearly 49% from January 2020.