Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Equatorial Guinea extend state of emergency to at least May 31 to curb the spread of COVID-19. Travel disruptions likely.

This alert affects Equatorial Guinea

This alert began 15 May 2020 12:40 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 Jun 2020 13:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 31
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Equatorial Guinea have extended the state of emergency through at least May 31 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities have stated that the extension will allow for the arrival of more medical material and equipment at under-resourced hospitals while controlling the spread of COVID-19. During this time, the measures currently in place will be maintained and are as follows:

  • The country's land borders and maritime ports of entry remain closed to passenger travel indefinitely.
  • All commercial and private passenger flights remain suspended indefinitely. Freight and humanitarian flights are exempt. Intermittent repatriation flights from Malabo International Airport (SSG) are ongoing.
  • Authorities have prohibited all mass gatherings, including weddings and sporting events.
  • All Equatorial Guinean diplomatic missions abroad have suspended the issuance of entry visas.
  • There is a nationwide stay-at-home order. Exceptions are in place for essential services, such as food provision and healthcare.
  • Restrictions on interdistrict movement are in effect countrywide, except for essential purposes.


All restrictions and recommendations are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews; officials could expand their response in the coming weeks, particularly if COVID-19 activity increases in-country.

Background and Analysis
The first COVID-19 case in Equatorial Guinea was diagnosed on 14th March. As of May 15, there are 512 confirmed cases and 6 deaths due to COVID-19 in the country. The measures taken by the government of Equatorial Guinea correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent weeks 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. The WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Carry proper identification documents to present at security checks. Heed all official advisories and remain nonconfrontational if stopped by authorities. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays and possibly result in quarantine. Carry proper identification documents to present at security checks. Shipping disruptions may occur; consider delaying or rerouting shipments.

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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