(Bloomberg) --

Namibia halted mining and quarrying operations to curb the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak, according to Minister of Mines and Energy Tom Alweendo.

The semi-arid southwest African nation is the world’s top producer of marine diamonds and the fifth-biggest of uranium.

While minimal operations and critical maintenance work will be allowed, employers should ensure that “preventative measures such as social distancing are observed at all times,” Alweendo said in an emailed statement on Saturday.

Namibia has recorded eight cases of the coronavirus and imposed a partial lockdown of the capital, Windhoek, and the coastal town of Walvis Bay to prevent further spread.

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