With no deaths, Namibia to further ease coronavirus lockdown

FILE PHOTO: Hage Gottfried Geingob, president of Namibia, looks on during a session of the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, September 5, 2019. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham/File Photo

WINDHOEK (Reuters) - Namibia, which has so far recorded no coronavirus deaths, said on Thursday it would within days further ease restrictions on social and economic activities.

Most of the desert nation in southwest Africa, which has received international praise after recording only 22 confirmed COVID-19 infections with 14 recoveries, will ease restrictions to level three of its four-level lockdown system from June 2.

However, the harbour town of Walvis Bay will revert to level one, the most restrictive, for seven days after two residents tested positive. The government has stepped up tracing of people who came into contact with those two.

President Hage Geingob urged public vigilance despite the easing of restrictions which will allow schools to resume face-to-face classes and restaurants to receive sit-down customers.

Non-contact sports and gatherings of up to 50 people at weddings, funerals and other events will be allowed.

But clubs, casinos and gambling houses will remain closed as they are considered high-risk areas while truck drivers arriving in Namibia will be screened, tested on arrival and quarantined for no less than 14 days.

Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne