The Government of Niger has declared that the state of health emergency currently in place due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic will be extended for three months from Saturday, October 10. The extension comes as the government prepares to reopen schools for the 2020-2021 academic year. Most other public places and services have now reopened with social distancing measures in place.
International flights were permitted to resume from August 1. As well as obligatory temperature checks at the airport, those arriving in the country must present to local authorities a negative COVID-19 test dated within the previous 72 hours. Another COVID-19 test will also be performed on arriving passengers at the airport and those who test positive will be taken to a government quarantine facility. Despite international flights being allowed to resume, land borders will remain closed until further notice.
As of Thursday, October 8, there have been 1200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, and 69 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 (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.
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 COVID-19 call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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