News Alerts

06 Aug 2020 | 12:45 PM UTC

Guinea-Bissau: Authorities extend state of emergency to August 24 /update 7

Guinea-Bissau News Alert

Authorities extend national state of emergency to August 24; continue to follow official directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/6/2020, 12:00 AM until 8/24/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Bissau). COUNTRY/REGION Guinea-Bissau

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Event

President Umaro Sissoco Embalo announced that the nationwide state of health emergency will be extended through August 24, in efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country. Authorities previously lifted the nationwide curfew which ran between 20:00 and 06:00 (local time). Further restrictions have been lifted, enabling the reopening of public markets and public transportation. Individuals are required to wear face masks in public and social distancing measures must be observed. Places of worship, educational facilities, as well as restaurants and bars, remain closed until further notice, while a ban on gatherings remains in effect for the duration of the state of emergency.

The government ordered the closure of the country's borders on March 17 and suspended all international flights. As of Saturday, August 1, international flights at Osvaldo Vieira International Airport (OXB) have resumed operations. Individuals arriving into the country will be expected to self-isolate at one location for 14 days.

As of Thursday, August 6, there have been 2032 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in country and 27 associated fatalities. 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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

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 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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