Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Cote d'Ivoire extend nationwide state of emergency through April 30 in ongoing effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

This alert affects Cote d'Ivoire

This alert began 16 Apr 2020 16:08 GMT and is scheduled to expire 24 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel and movement restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through April 30
  • Impact: Heightened security, transport and business disruptions; possible health screenings, shipping delays, protests

Summary
Authorities in Cote d'Ivoire have extended a nationwide state of emergency through at least April 30 as part of measures to halt the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The extension forms part of a suite of measures enforced by the government in recent weeks.

  • Officials are enforcing a nightly 2100-0500 curfew through April 24.
  • Flights to and from the country remain suspended. Flights for humanitarian and security purposes are allowed. Land borders are closed. The movement of essential goods is ongoing, albeit with delays due to increased screenings.
  • Travel between Greater Abidjan (Abidjan, Dabou, Azaguie, Bingerville, Grand-Bassam, Bonoua, Assinie, and up to PK30 on the Abidjan-Yamoussoukro motorway) and the rest of the country is restricted, except for essential goods and services. The measure was enforced March 30 and runs through late April.
  • It is reportedly compulsory to wear a face mask in Greater Abidjan. Elderly and other high-risk persons are advised to remain indoors.
  • Travel restrictions between regions outside of Greater Abidjan are being enforced.
  • Social distancing measures are also in place; closures of bars and entertainment venues are in effect.


Additional measures are possible in the coming weeks as the government takes action to curb the spread of COVID-19. Security forces will almost certainly remain deployed to monitor and enforce restrictions. Acts of public violence in response to the restrictions and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are likely. Protesters destroyed a medical facility in Yopougon, Abidjan, April 5-6. Authorities had planned to use the building as a collection station for testing for COVID-19. Security forces will almost certainly disperse any protests that materialize.

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.

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. Exercise caution near medical facilities. Avoid all demonstrations.

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
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int

Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene (French): www.sante.gouv.ci

Official Government Portal: http://www.gouv.ci/