Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Authorities in Chad declare 21-day health state of emergency through May 16 to combat COVID-19. Further preventative measures likely.
This alert affects Chad
This alert began 25 Apr 2020 22:07 GMT and is scheduled to expire 16 May 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Through at least May 16
- Impact: Travel and business disruptions; heightened security
On April 25, authorities in Chad declared a 21-day health state of emergency through May 16 as part of their efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The details of the state of emergency have yet to be released. However, the decree includes a ban on all public gatherings, closure of nonessential businesses, and restrictions on movement. Nevertheless, residents are still allowed freedom of movement to perform essential tasks, such as purchasing groceries and obtaining medical treatment. Failure to comply with the edict will result in disciplinary action, including time in jail.
International passenger flights remain suspended through at least May 15; the measure does not apply to emergency and cargo flights.
Other measures taken by the government of Chad include an indefinite 2000-0500 nightly curfew in the capital, N'Djamena, and in the Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, Mayo-kebbi Ouest, and Mayo-kebbi Est regions. Curfews have also been in place in the Mandelia and Lougoun sub-prefectures of the Chari-Baguirmi Region, and in the N'Djamena Fara sub-prefecture of the Hadjer-Lamis region, since April 3. Land borders have been closed but freight transport is allowed. Authorities could extend and impose additional curfews and restrictions based on disease activity throughout the country.
Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government 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. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
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. Plan for possible ground shipping and travel delays; seek alternative routes and shipping methods for time-sensitive cargo.
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.