Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Kyrgyzstan extend state of emergency in Bishkek and several other cities and districts until April 30 to combat COVID-19.

This alert affects Kyrgyzstan

This alert began 14 Apr 2020 12:30 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: State of emergency
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through 0800 April 30
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions, heightened security

Summary
Authorities in Kyrgyzstan have extended a state of emergency in several major cities and districts until 0800 April 30 in order to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The locations include the cities of Bishkek, Osh, Jalal-Abad and Naryn. Affected districts include Nookat and Kara-Suu in Osh Region, Suzak in Jalal-Abad Region, and At-Bashi in Naryn Region. A 2000-0700 curfew will continue in all affected cities and districts; the movement of residents and vehicles is prohibited during this period. Healthcare workers, emergency service personnel, and public utility workers are exempt from the curfew restrictions.

Authorities previously introduced a number of other measures over and above those announced in the extended state of emergency. Nationwide internal movement restrictions have been imposed; residents may not travel outside their village or district without a permit or in the absence of an emergency. Police roadblocks have been established on intercity and regional roads. In Bishkek, all approach roads to the city have been closed; police checkpoints have been erected throughout the city. Public transport services in Bishkek, Osh, and Jalalabad have been heavily reduced as of March 24. All government offices, except emergency services and public utility services, are closed. The measures do not restrict the movement of public utility vehicles or vehicles carrying essential goods, such as food and medicine.

As of March 17, all nonresident foreign nationals are indefinitely barred from entering the country via all ports of entry, including overland border crossings and airports. Kyrgyz citizens and foreign nationals can leave the country. Freight traffic remains unrestricted. Kyrgyz nationals returning from countries with elevated disease activity will be placed in a mandatory quarantine facility for 14 days. Affected countries include but are not limited to: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US. Restaurants and cafes with a capacity of over 50 people remain closed. All education facilities, entertainment venues, shopping malls, theatres, and cinemas are closed for the duration of the state of emergency. Public gatherings are banned until April 30.

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.

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