Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Cote d'Ivoire extend COVID-19 state of emergency through June 14. Business and travel disruptions likely.

This alert affects Cote d'Ivoire

This alert began 29 May 2020 13:35 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 Jun 2020 11:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through June 14
  • Impact: Heightened security, transport and business disruptions; possible health screenings, shipping delays, protests

Authorities in Cote d'Ivoire have extended the ongoing state of emergency through June 14 as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Several measures remain in place as part of the extension, including the continued containment of the Grand Abidjan region (Abidjan, Dabou, Azaguie, Bingerville, Grand-Bassam, Bonoua, Assinie, and up to PK30 on the Abidjan-Yamoussoukro motorway). This means that travel in and out of the affected region has been banned at least through June 14. Bars, nightclubs, cinemas, and similar businesses remain closed. The country's closure of its land, air, and sea borders will also remain in place; however, the transport of freight and essential cargo can continue nationwide.

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 all restrictions that remain in place. Acts of public violence in response to the restrictions and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are possible. Travel within Abidjan can continue as long as persons adhere to social distancing measures.

Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government follow an earlier easing of domestic restrictions across the country. Curfews were lifted nationwide May 10, and in the Grand Abidjan region May 15. Restrictions on local canteens, restaurants, and academic activities have also been lifted.

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. 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.

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