Authorities announced on Sunday, July 5, that full lockdown measures that had previously been imposed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic will be reintroduced in the Analamanga region, including Antananarivo, from Monday, July 6. These measures will remain in place until July 20. Under these restrictions, only one person per household may leave their homes between 06:00 and 12:00 (local time). Overland travel outside of the region will also be suspended from Monday.
On June 27, Malagasy authorities extended the national health state of emergency, initially declared on March 21, for a further 15 days until Sunday, July 12, due to COVID-19. Restrictions on vehicles traveling to and from the districts of Fenerive-Est, Moramanga, and Tamatave remain in place. An overnight curfew also remains in effect in these areas, and Antananarivo, between 22:00 and 04:00. Businesses are currently allowed to operate until 15:00 in Fenerive-Est, Moramanga, and Tamatave, and may remain open until 17:00 in Antananarivo. Public transport may also operate until 17:00 in Fenerive-Est, Moramanga, and Tamatave, and can operate until 19:00 in Antananarivo. Gatherings of up to 50 people are permitted across the country, though social distancing measures should be adhered to, and face masks remain mandatory for all individuals outdoors.
Sporting fixtures and cultural events are yet to resume. Additional screening measures and checkpoints have been erected by the authorities, and additional testing centers have reopened from Wednesday, July 1, for residents experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Measures throughout the rest of the country were lifted by the authorities on June 14.
As of July 5, health authorities have confirmed 2941 COVID-19 cases with 32 associated deaths in the country. Further 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 (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 your 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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