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21 Apr 2020 | 02:21 AM UTC

Madagascar: COVID-19 lockdown measures begin to ease in major cities April 20 /update 6

Madagascar News Alert

Madagascan authorities begin easing coronavirus disease (COVID-10) lockdown measures in three major cities from April 20; abide by government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/20/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/8/2020, 11:59 PM (Indian/Antananarivo). COUNTRY/REGION Madagascar

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Event

Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina began easing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown measures in the cities of Antananarivo, Toamasina, and Fianarantsoa as of Monday, April 20, following the reported successful domestic testing of a remedy for the virus. The action goes against the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO) who has stated that there is no current cure for COVID-19.

President Rajoelina announced that the easing of the lockdown will be implemented from the hours of 06:00 to 13:00 (local time) daily. During these hours, public transport will resume in Antananarivo from April 20, with some schools scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, April 22. Some restrictions will remain in place, such as individuals having to wear masks when they go out and not being allowed to leave their home cities.

The nationwide state of emergency was extended for two weeks on April 5 as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Under the state of emergency, all non-essential businesses were closed, public transport is suspended, and a nationwide curfew is in effect from 20:00-05:00 (local time). Schools, universities, churches, and concert halls were also closed and public gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited.

To date, authorities have confirmed 121 COVID-19 cases nationwide, and no associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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