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27 Apr 2020 | 02:07 AM UTC

Gabon: Authorities extend state of emergency due to COVID-19 until May 11 /update 7

Gabon News Alert

Gabon extends of emergency in place to deal with COVID-19 pandemic until May 11; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/27/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/18/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Libreville). COUNTRY/REGION Gabon

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The Gabonese government announced that the state of emergency in effect due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which was due to end on Sunday, April 26, will be extended for a further 15 days through to Monday, May 11. Restriction measures introduced under the state of emergency will remain in place during this period. These include a nationwide curfew from 19:30 to 06:00 (local time), as well as even stricter confinement of certain areas. These include Libreville and the nearby communities of Owendo, Akanda, Ntoum, and Pointe Denis. In these areas, residents are only permitted to leave their homes for limited reasons, such as obtaining essential goods or seeking healthcare.

Gatherings remain prohibited, schools are closed, and non-essential movements within and between cities has been reduced. Those working in industries deemed essential by the government are exempt from the measures. Local media sources reported that a heightened security presence is currently in effect in the capital to enforce the measures. Additionally, an increase in burglaries has also been reported in Libreville since authorities released 680 inmates on Thursday, April 8, to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Authorities previously banned all domestic and international flights and closed all land, sea, and air borders except for cargo transportation.

As of Sunday, April 27, there are 176 confirmed COVID-19 cases and three related deaths nationwide. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.


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.


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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