Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Chad reopen certain businesses, including markets, May 21. Restrictive and social distancing measures remain in place.

This alert affects Chad

This alert began 21 May 2020 11:50 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions; heightened security

Summary
Authorities in Chad have allowed the resumption of certain activities and businesses nationwide May 21. Markets, nonessential shops, and takeaway restaurants can resume operations, though businesses will have to adhere to social distancing and increased sanitation measures. Public transport services will also resume with limits on the number of passengers allowed in vehicles. Authorities have stated that noncompliance could lead to fines and a reinstatement of restrictions.

Other restrictions and measures to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) remain in place nationwide, including a ban on travel into and out of the capital, N'Djamena. Restricted freight and cargo services can continue in and out of the city. Officials are also enforcing the suspension of all flights through at least May 31. The measure does not apply to emergency and cargo flights. Officials are also enforcing a nightly 2000-0500 curfew in all provincial capitals nationwide, including N'Djamena.

Failure to comply with these edicts will result in disciplinary action, including fines and possible jail time. Authorities could extend and impose additional restrictions based on disease activity throughout the country.

Background and Analysis
The opening of shops and restaurants comes ahead of Eid-al-Fitr celebrations from May 23. The upcoming holidays could be a possible factor that encouraged the easing of lockdown measures despite the continued reporting of cases of COVID-19 in the country. 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.

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. 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.


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