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05 May 2020 | 08:53 PM UTC

São Tomé and Príncipe: Authorities extend state of emergency until May 16 to curb spread of COVID-19 /update 2

Sao Tome and Principe News Alert

São Toméan authorities extend state of emergency until May 16 to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic within its borders; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/5/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/16/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Sao_Tome). COUNTRY/REGION São Tomé and Príncipe

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On Tuesday, May 5, São Toméan authorities announced the extension of the country's state of emergency until Saturday, May 16, in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic within the country's borders. The move marks the third consecutive extension to the state of emergency issued by São Toméan President Evaristo Carvalho. The extension comes after a recently reported increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

On Monday, April 6, Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus confirmed the country's first four COVID-19 cases. The confirmation came after test results returned from Gabon. Entry to all foreign travelers remains prohibited as of May 5. Nationals of São Tomé and Príncipe and foreign residents are subject to quarantine upon arrival in the country.

As of May 5, health authorities have confirmed 23 cases of COVID-19 in São Tomé and Príncipe, including three associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is 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 (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.


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 by 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 flexed elbow or tissue - 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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