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05 May 2020 | 01:08 PM UTC

Madagascar: Authorities extend sanitary state of emergency until May 17 /update 7

Madagascar News Alert

Malagasy authorities extend sanitary state of emergency until May 17 due to COVID-19; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/5/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/18/2020, 11:59 PM (Indian/Antananarivo). COUNTRY/REGION Madagascar

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Event

On Saturday, May 2, Malagasy authorities announced the extension of the country's sanitary state of emergency until Sunday, May 17, in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). According to media sources, this decision comes after an increase of the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, partly attributed to widespread non-compliance with current social distancing measures.

Malagasy President Andry Rajoelina began easing lockdown measures in the cities of Antananarivo, Toamasina, and Fianarantsoa on April 20, following the reported successful domestic testing of a remedy for the virus, against the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO) which stated that there is no current cure for COVID-19.

Under the state of emergency, originally introduced on April 5 as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus, air traffic is suspended until further notice, face mask use in public places is mandatory, and travel is allowed between 06:00 and 13:00 (local time) except within the cities of Tananarive and Tamatave. Professional activities are allowed from 04:00 to 13:00 (local time) nationwide.

As of Tuesday, May 5, there are 151 confirmed COVID-19 cases and no related deaths nationwide. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in 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 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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