THE police in //Kharas region issued close to 500 travel permits in the last two weeks.
Travel permits were required when the country was under a partial lockdown prohibiting travel outside of regions, as the government fought to stop the growing cases of Covid-19 infections and deaths.
Police commander for //Kharas region commissioner David Indongo said most of the permits were issued to Namibians studying in South Africa. The students were returning home since universities in South Africa were also closed as a precaution against the coronavirus.
"Some of these students were travelling to as far as Ohangwena region to their homes. But the applications also included local students who were still in hostels when the travel restrictions were announced," said Indongo.
The travel permits were also for people who were employed by travel and tourism companies that had closed down. Those people had no income to pay rent and sustain themselves and needed to travel back to their places of origin.
"What do you do in such an instance? The person has nowhere to stay or family here to support them. In other instances some had come for job interviews and also needed to return home to wait for the outcome," said the commissioner.
Requests to attend funerals of close relatives and for medical purposes were the lowest of the travel applications received.
"We also processed the essential service permits as much as the Ministry of Health gave permission to executive directors in every ministry to be able to handle ministry- related requests," said Indongo.