News Alerts

22 Apr 2020 | 02:21 AM UTC

Niger: Residents in Niamey protest COVID-19 measures April 17-19 /update 3

Niger News Alert

Police arrest over 100 people after residents in Niamey protest COVID-19 restrictions April 17-19; further demonstrations possible

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/17/2020, 12:00 AM until 4/25/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Niamey). COUNTRY/REGION Niger

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Event

Residents in the capital Niamey rallied in several districts between Friday, April 17, and Sunday, April 19, to protest current coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. According to police officials, 108 people were arrested during the demonstrations. On Sunday, clashes broke out between protesters and police officers. Some individuals also set tires on fire, blocked roads with rocks, and burned private property. In Lazaret district, security forces fired tear gas to disperse the crowds. Further protests are possible over the coming days.

An overnight curfew between 19:00 and 05:00 (local time) is in effect until Saturday, April 25. Lockdown measures in Niamey are also scheduled to be lifted on Saturday, as well as a suspension on international flights into and out of the country. Niger's land borders remain closed until further notice.

As of Tuesday, April 21, 657 cases of COVID-19 and 20 associated fatalities have been confirmed in the country. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.

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 (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 COVID-19 a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored 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 general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or 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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