News Alerts

28 Sep 2020 | 04:24 PM UTC

Congo: Authorities extend state of health emergency until October 18 /update 12

Congo News Alert

Authorities extend state of health emergency until October 18; continue to follow official directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/28/2020, 12:00 AM until 10/18/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Brazzaville). COUNTRY/REGION Republic of the Congo

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Event

Congolese authorities have announced an extension to the country's state of health emergency until at least October 18, amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Authorities have also announced that the nightly curfew has been lifted for 10 departments, including Sangha, Cuvette-Ouest, Cuvette, Plateaux, Niari, Lekoumou, Pool, Kouilou, and Bouenza. However, the nightly curfew remains in place in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire between 20:00 and 05:00 (local time).

Face masks remain compulsory in public places, and social distancing and hygiene measures should be maintained. A ban on public gatherings of over 50 people is in place. Most shops, businesses, places of worship, schools, and entertainment venues remain closed, except those selling essential goods and food. Additional security personnel have been mobilized to ensure compliance with the measures introduced by the government.

Domestic passenger flights and road travel restrictions have been eased in recent weeks, while limited international commercial flights were allowed to resume on August 24. Those entering the country are required to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to arrival and quarantine for 14 days at their accommodation. However, severe restrictions remain in place for land and maritime border entry.

As of Monday, September 28, there have been 5008 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Republic of Congo and 89 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 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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