Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Guinea declare nightly curfew March 30 as part of state of emergency measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19

This alert affects Guinea

This alert began 01 Apr 2020 13:59 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 22:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 30
  • Impact: Severe travel and business disruptions

Summary
The government of Guinea enacted a nationwide nightly curfew March 30 as part of ongoing emergency measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The curfew will run from 2100-0500. The curfew follows the implementation of a 30-day state of emergency from March 26. Under the edict, all land, sea, and air borders will be closed except for the transport of goods, with commercial transporters being subject to heightened screening measures. Limits have been imposed on the number of passengers public transport vehicles in Conakry may carry at a given time based on vehicle type for the duration of the state of emergency. The Guinean government has also ordered all schools and universities, as well as bars, restaurants, game halls, cinemas, and other facilities where people gather, to close for 14 days.

Other measures already in place include a temporary ban on members of the Guinean diaspora returning to the country, the suspension of the operations of diplomatic missions abroad, and the imposition of social distancing measures.

Authorities could extend the state of emergency after the initial 30 days expire and/or expand any COVID-related restrictions with little to no advance notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures the government has taken correspond with similar actions taken by other West African 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.

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 (French): https://sante.gov.gn/