Hon. Kalumbi Shangula, Minister of Health and Social Services,
Your Excellency, Mr. Didier Vanderhasselt, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Namibia,
Chargé d’Affaires of the EU delegation in Namibia, Government Officials,
Distinguished Invited Guests,
Members of the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Namibia highly appreciate the quick response Namibia received from Belgium through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism following the Government of Namibia’s appeal for assistance to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, which has overwhelmed our health system.
The Belgium-Namibian friendship dates back since before our independence and the donation we are receiving today, is a testimony of this long growing friendship. Today, the Kingdom of Belgium Government, in the spirit of friendship, has donated 125 600 KN95 Masks that will contribute significantly towards the protection of our frontline health workers and communities from the aggressive Delta strain that was recently identified in Namibia, which we have learned does spread faster than others.
We all understand that COVID-19 does not move, but its people who move it. Therefore, receiving this donation, should not make us relax, but to continue adhering to COVID-19 protocols, such as washing our hands, sanitize, wear mask
in public places, avoid gathering, ensure social distancing and people should avoid traveling if not necessary. Those protocols should remain a norm, until we reach the required head count as far as vaccination is concerned.
Europe had a successful vaccination roll-out that led to some form of normality, as could be seen by Europe hosting the UEFA Championship with life audiences. This make vaccination even more crucial as it is our most important weapon in the fight against the virus. As access to vaccines remains a huge challenge to Namibia, I would like to urge countries that have reached a significant vaccination coverage to release doses where possible.
On behalf of the Government of Namibia, I would like to once again reiterate Namibia’s gratitude to your government for having responded positively for our request for support, in the same vein, we thank the European Union for the logistical support it continues to provide to us.
Your Excellency as the Belgium Ambassador to Namibia, we are looking forward to continuing working with you, in strengthen cooperation between our two countries and we would like to see you more often in Namibia. Once again, please accept our heartfelt and sincere gratitude for this initiative and donation, a gesture of friendship and solidarity.
I thank you.