Namibia: Covid-19 a Menace to Social Grant Beneficiaries

SCORES of beneficiaries of social grants line up to collect their monthly allowances, disregarding Covid-19 regulations in the process.

Northern region manager for Epupa Investment Technology Gerhard Nautoro says although they encourage beneficiaries to maintain social distancing, the people still come in large numbers.

"We sanitise them and also advise them to wash their hands. We encourage them to keep their hands clean," he said.

Nautoro said what made matters worse was that vendors also travel to pay points to sell their products and they do not adhere to Covid-19 protocols at all. He said sometimes they are forced to call in police officers to disperse vendors at payout points.

While some people in rural areas still disregard Covid-19 regulations, others refuse to get vaccinated because they believe that Covid-19 vaccines are from the devil and are marked 666, which Christian churches believe is the mark of the devil.

The common conspiracy theories include that Covid-19 was invented by the Western world to control African population growth through the Covid-19 vaccine.

Omusati regional health director, Alfons Amoomo, told The Namibian recently that conspiracy theories spreading among the communities are discouraging people from getting vaccinated.

"The response towards the vaccine in the rural areas is not that good because many people are still reluctant to get vaccinated due to conspiracy theories doing the rounds in the communities. This is a huge challenge that we, as a region, are battling to overcome despite several educational campaigns and roadshows conducted," said Amoomo.

Recently, Ondonga King Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo urged his people to adhere to Covid-19 regulations and avoid unnecessary gatherings.

"Let us prevent the disease by observing health regulations. Let us save what we can manage to save," the king urged.

Nangolo also urged those spreading fake news about Covid-19 vaccines to stop doing so. He said vaccines are not dangerous as alleged by some people.

Oukwanyama Queen Mwadinonho Christian Nelumbu's secretary, Dineinge Sheya, also encouraged Namibians to get inoculated.

"This is a serious pandemic we face and we must tackle it as a united people. Let us not be a society that refuses to listen to its leaders," Dineinge said.

The Ondonga Traditional Authority donated 20 oxygen concentrators valued at N$360 000 to Onandjokwe Lutheran Hospital. Nangolo said the oxygen donation was made possible through the assistance of the Oompale Trust Fund and Hompa Investment - a trust owned by the 52 traditional authorities in the country.

Pledging support to Onandjokwe hospital, Nangolo said he has also opened a bank account with the objective to raise N$2,8 million to purchase an oxygen generating machine for the hospital.

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