Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: As of March 31 a nationwide state of emergency is ongoing in Cape Verde to halt the spread of COVID-19.

This alert affects Cape Verde

This alert began 01 Apr 2020 13:28 GMT and is scheduled to expire 17 Apr 2020 19:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Preventative measures
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 17
  • Impact: Entry bans, transport and business disruptions; possible quarantine measures

Summary
Cape Verde authorities declared a state of emergency effective March 31, updating containment restrictions across the country as part of the nation's effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Measures that will be in effect from March 31 to 2359 April 17 include the suspension of international inbound and outbound travel, restrictions on inter-island travel, and the suspension of all non-essential services.

All public services and public companies, except for essential services such as airports, ports, and hospitals, will be closed for this period; there have also been reductions to local transportation services. The country's main carrier, Cabo Verde Airlines (VR), has suspended all operations since mid-March. Cargo and humanitarian transport will continue but are likely to face heightened screening measures.

Officials require all persons to remain at home and a ban on public gatherings. Authorities are allowing people to leave their homes only for essential reasons, such as buying food and medicine, and working in essential industries. The island of Boa Vista is under quarantine as of April 1 following a number of infections and fatalities. Some facilities, including hotels, remain on lockdown on the island.

The government could expand its nationwide response in the coming weeks, particularly if the number of COVID-19 cases increases. The measures may lead to travel disruptions, especially for passengers from locations with significant COVID-19 activity.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the government of Cape Verde correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. The WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO: www.who.int

Cabo Verde Airlines: caboverdeairlines.com

Cape Verde Government: www.governo.cv