26 Juli 2021 | Wirtschaft

Namibians adjust social patterns in raging pandemic

Traditional leaders have echoed the efforts of the government, urging locals to adhere to regulations in place.

Ndalimpinga Iita - Late morning at a far-flung village in the Oshana region, northern Namibia, self-employed Selma Shilongo remained indoors, contrasting her once active social life.

"In the past, by this time, I would be somewhere networking or busy with field interventions, but have been indoors for a while now as encouraged by the government to avoid contracting Covid-19," the 39-years-old Shilongo said on Monday.

As the virus continues to run rampant through Namibia, dwellers in Namibia's northern and north-eastern parts adjust social patterns as the Covid-19 epicentre shifts.

The Namibian government recently announced that the country's Covid-19 epicentre is shifting from central Khomas, Otjozondjupa regions and coastal Erongo region to other regions, including the northern and northeastern parts.

"We are monitoring the rising incidence curve in the Oshana and Kavango East regions," said president Hage Geingob during the country's 31st Covid-19 public briefing last week.


For young Meke Fanuel, who works in the Oshana region, wearing a mask and sanitising has become part of her daily life priorities.

"Not only to protect me but also my loved ones and immediate community. I have also been vaccinated," said Fanuel.

Meanwhile, she is encouraging others to take precautions and consider inoculation.

"Hopefully, others will find the courage to get vaccinated and further motivate others, so we reach our targets for herd immunity," she added.

The elderly in rural areas in the region are also taking extra care amid the high death rate amongst the senior citizens in the country. Records by the ministry of health and social services show that as of July 15, 55% of fatalities were recorded among people above 60 years.

Efforts to avoid contracting the disease include minimized socialisation, visitations and gatherings.

"But if attending one or two gatherings such as funerals, we keep a safe physical distance, sanitise regularly," said Kayi Iita, a-68-years old pensioner.


Dwellers are also maximising on the radio to get factual information on Covid-19.

"Radio has been instrumental. It helps us keep abreast of the new COVID-19 variant, number of cases, precautionary measures and vaccination. I religiously listen to the news and other programmes in the indigenous language," said Agatus Timothy, an old-aged citizen from a village in the Oshana region.

Dwellers also employ other home remedies such as steaming and improved their diet.

"We included other supplementary foods and fruits rich in Vitamin C and nutrients that would boost the immune system," said Tomas Hausiku from a village in the Kavango East region.

Traditional leaders have also echoed the efforts of the government, urging locals to adhere to regulations in place.

The king of the Ondonga Traditional Authority in northern Namibia, Fillemon Shuumbwa, consulted and wrote to various traditional leaders and headmen to enforce regulations and promote adherence at the grassroots.

"I urge all communities and individuals to follow regulations in place. These include ceasing visitations and avoiding large gatherings," Shuumbwa said. – Nampa/Xinhua

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