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02 May 2020 | 11:02 AM UTC

Congo: Government extends COVID-19 lockdown measures until May 15 /update 4

Congo News Alert

President Denis Sassou Nguesso announces the extension of lockdown measures to prevent spread of COVID-19 until May 15; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/2/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/16/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Brazzaville). COUNTRY/REGION Republic of the Congo

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Event

The President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso, addressed the nation on Thursday, April 30, to announce that the current restrictions in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will be extended until Friday, May 15. Lockdown measures, including an overnight curfew and advice to stay at home for all but essential purposes, that were originally introduced on Tuesday, March 31, and due to end on April 30, will now continue unchanged until May 15. Nguesso also announced that it would also now be compulsory for people to wear masks in public places.

The overnight curfew is in place nationwide between 20:00 and 05:00 (local time). Only individuals who provide essential goods and services will be exempt from the curfew. Additional security personnel will be deployed to enforce the restrictions. All places of worship, schools, bars, and restaurants will remain closed.

Additionally, all land, air, and maritime borders remain closed until at least Sunday, May 10, except for cargo flights and vessels.

As of Saturday, May 2, 229 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country and nine associated deaths. 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 (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 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 non-essential 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 COVID-19 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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