Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: State of emergency measures remain in Sao Vicente, Boa Vista, and Santiago, Cape Verde through May 2 to halt the spread of COVID-19.
This alert affects Cape Verde
This alert began 27 Apr 2020 09:29 GMT and is scheduled to expire 02 May 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
State of emergency measures remain in place on the islands of Sao Vicente, Boa Vista, and Santiago, Cape Verde through May 2 as part of efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country. These measures will remain in place on these islands as cases of the disease continue to be detected. State of emergency measures in place on Santo Antao, Sao Nicolau, Sal, Maio, Fogo, and Brava expired April 26. Despite the relaxation of restrictions, authorities have advised residents on these islands to continue adhering to social distancing measures. The state of emergency, which initially came into effect March 31, is supported by other measures such as the suspension of international inbound and outbound travel, restrictions on inter-island travel, and the suspension of all nonessential services.
Non-essential services are likely to resume in the coming days on islands where measures have been relaxed. Travel by residents between affected and unaffected islands is allowed only on the provision of a negative test. Cargo and humanitarian transport continue to face heightened screening measures. The country's main carrier, Cabo Verde Airlines (VR), has suspended all operations since mid-March. Authorities could expand its nationwide response in the coming weeks, particularly if the number of COVID-19 cases spreads or increases.
Background and Analysis
Cape Verde is one of the first African countries to relax measures put in place to halt the spread of COVID-19 since the disease was declared a pandemic March 11. 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.
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.