Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Cape Verde's state of emergency measures to expire on Santiago island May 29. Further measures to be announced in the coming days.

This alert affects Cape Verde

This alert began 29 May 2020 11:51 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Possible transport and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Cape Verde announced May 28 that they will not extend the existing state of emergency on the island of Santiago beyond 2359 May 29, following a notable improvement due to efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Current measures, including a nightly curfew, will remain in place on the island through 2359 May 29. Further alterations to current measures and the possible easing of restrictions on the island will be announced in the coming days.

Business and movement restrictions are also still in effect on the islands of Sao Vincente, Santo Antao, Sao Nicolau, Sal, Maio, Fogo, and Brava under the lesser state of calamity designation, which entered into force as these locations' respective states of emergency expired. Despite the relaxation of restrictions, authorities continue to urge residents on these islands to continue adhering to social distancing measures; all residents must wear protective masks when outside their homes.

International travel into and out of Cape Verde remains suspended. Severe restrictions on inter-island air and maritime travel also remain in place; however, some inter-island travel is likely to resume after May 29. Travel to and from Santiago remains unlikely at this point. Cargo and humanitarian transport continues to face heightened screening measures. The country's flag carrier, Cabo Verde Airlines (VR), has suspended all regular commercial operations through July 1. Authorities could adjust the nation's public health posture in response to any changes in disease activity over the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
Cape Verde was one of the first African countries to relax measures to halt the spread of COVID-19 since the WHO declared the disease a pandemic March 11. As of May 28, Cape Verde has reported 390 cases of the disease. 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.

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.


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