Namibia: Pandemic Puts Spotlight On Poor Housing ... Rdp Demands Action to Mitigate Virus As 96 Test Positive

Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) leader Mike Kavekotora says Covid-19 cases at Walvis Bay are getting out of hand, accusing government of only announcing new infections without taking decisive action to mitigate the impact of the virus.

"There is no denying that the situation is worsened by overcrowding, lack of decent housing, high levels of poverty and unemployment. Namibia has now recorded two deaths," Kavekotora said.

Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula yesterday announced 96 new Covid-19 positive cases, involving 95 Namibians and one South African, with infections reported at Walvis Bay, Karasburg, Keetmanshoop and Windhoek. The country has 960 confirmed cases, two deaths and 31 recoveries.

Kavekotora reiterated the plight of Walvis Bay residents needs urgent attention, suggesting rescue measures should be implemented to save the community and curb the further spread of coronavirus.

"The Swapo government needs to get serious and do more to urgently address the question of overcrowding, provision of decent housing, the supply of necessities, including food, to the needy families at Walvis Bay," he reacted.

President Hage Geingob recently suggested to local authorities at Walvis Bay and Swakopmund to consider housing some of the vulnerable residents in the unoccupied units, built under the mass housing programme.

"What logic does it make to have several empty standing houses while the people are squatting under inhumane conditions? We got to remember that Namibia is a resource-rich country with a small and manageable population. There is no reason why Namibians are deprived of better living conditions. It is humiliating and very embarrassing to have our citizens surviving on the marketing of their bodies," Kavekotora added.

He also said the government must find ways to allow those who lost their jobs through retrenchments and who want to get out of Walvis Bay to do so. According to him, the notion of self-quarantine is "nonsense" and has the probability of increasing infections. RDP leader also suggested that government consider re-introducing the N$750 emergency income grant to cushion the economic blow of the coronavirus on the less fortunate and those who have lost jobs.

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