Additional African countries introduce stricter health screenings for passengers from China as of Jan. 29. Immigration delays possible.

Severity: Informational Alert

This alert began 29 Jan 2020 22:17 GMT and is scheduled to expire 29 Jan 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Increased health screenings
  • Location(s): Africa (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite as of Jan. 23
  • Impact: Longer immigration wait times for passengers from China; possible quarantine

Summary
As of Jan. 29, several additional African countries, including, Zambia, Rwanda, Comoros, Mozambique, Sudan, South Sudan, Angola, Tanzania, Liberia, Benin, Chad, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Togo, Botswana, Burundi, CAR, Djibouti, Eritrea, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, and Zimbabwe have implemented enhanced health screenings for passengers.

Cote d'Ivoire, the Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda had previously implemented health screenings from Jan. 23.

This precaution follows an increase in reported cases of 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan and other eastern Chinese cities, as well as confirmed cases in Japan, South Korea, and Thailand. Beijing has also confirmed person-to-person transmission of the virus. Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan have reported suspected cases of the virus.

Additional countries could announce enhanced health screenings or expand their response in the coming days, particularly given that the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak occurred ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, when tens of millions of Chinese passengers usually travel throughout the world. The measures are unlikely to impact most travelers but may lead to immigration delays, especially for passengers from China.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings, especially if traveling from China.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.