Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Guinea extend state of health emergency measures at least through May 15 to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

This alert affects Guinea

This alert began 14 Apr 2020 12:15 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 15
  • Impact: Severe travel and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Guinea have extended state of health emergency measures through at least May 15 in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The government has also announced the compulsory wearing of face masks from April 18. A nightly nationwide curfew from 2100-0500 remains in place. Under the existing 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. Other measures include limits 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, and the closure of non-essential facilities and businesses.

Members of the Guinean diaspora have been temporarily banned from returning to the country, with the suspension of the operations of diplomatic missions abroad also in place.

Authorities could extend the state of emergency 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 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. 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