Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Cape Verde extend state of emergency through April 26 in some areas, May 2 in other areas, to halt the spread of COVID-19.

This alert affects Cape Verde

This alert began 17 Apr 2020 09:35 GMT and is scheduled to expire 26 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Preventative measures
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 2
  • Impact: Entry bans, transport and business disruptions; possible quarantine measures

Summary
Authorities in Cape Verde have extended a state of emergency at least through May 2 as part of the nation's effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). State of emergency measures will be in place for a shorter duration on islands that have reported no cases of COVID-19; these include Santo Antao, Sao Nicolau, Sal, Maio, Fogo, and Brava, where restrictions could be lifted by April 26. The state of emergency, which initially came into effect March 31, is supported by measures such as the suspension of international inbound and outbound travel, restrictions on inter-island travel, and the suspension of all nonessential services.

All public services and public companies, except for essential services such as airports, ports, and hospitals, will remain 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 remains under quarantine, following several new infections. 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: https://caboverdeairlines.com

Cape Verde Government: www.governo.cv