The Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services has granted Air Namibia the go ahead to repatriate Namibians stuck in South Africa due to the lockdowns imposed globally in the bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The greenlight, granted on April 22, 2020, will see 65 Namibians being brought home in a repatriation set for this coming week.
46 South Africans stuck in Namibia will also be repatriated to their home country on the same flight.
Flight SW9975 will carry Namibians from Cape Town and South Africans from Windhoek whilst flight SW9923 will carry Namibians from Johannesburg and South Africans from Windhoek.
Each flight will have three crew members on board.
According to Xinhua.net, the Minister of International Relations and Corporation (MIRCO) Namibia, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah confirmed the repatriation, saying the government was in the process of finalizing the repatriations because there were a lot of Namibians in South Africa who wanted to return home.
“We are finalizing how they can come home, because like other countries, we have a large number of Namibians there and as of Friday, the number of Namibians stands at 210,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.
The Executive Director of health and social services, Ben Nangombe, also confirmed the repatriation of the Namibians from South Africa, including medical doctors.
“Because we have recalled these doctors, the government will carry the cost. We will also act in a humanitarian way to allow other Namibians who are in South Africa to board the aircraft – even if they don’t have the means to pay,” Nangombe said.
Nangombe added that all incoming crew members would be quarantined for 14 days at the cost of Air Namibia.
“No Namibian will be denied re-entry into the country, be it by air, road or sea, as long as they are prepared to undergo 14 days of quarantine.”