Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Madagascar authorities gradually ease restrictive measures in Antananarivo, Toamasina, and Fianarantsoa, as of April 22.

This alert affects Madagascar

This alert began 22 Apr 2020 16:27 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Madagascar (map)
  • Time Frame: Until at least end of April
  • Impact: International flight ban, transportation and business disruptions; possible freight delays

Summary
Malagasy authorities announced the easing of restrictive measures in several areas of Madagascar from April 20, including in the Analamanga and Matsiatra Ambony regions and in the city of Toamasina. Movement restrictions will be lifted 0600-1300 daily. Markets, bars, and restaurants will be allowed to operate, and limited government and official services will resume. Public transport will resume in Antananarivo, Fianarantsoa, and Toamasina during this time; however, intercity travel is still prohibited. A curfew between 2100-0400 will be implemented indefinitely. Some schools have been reopened as of April 22.

Other restrictive measures remain in place:

  • International passenger air travel remains suspended until at least April 29.
  • Gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited.
  • People are required to wear a face mask at all times when in public spaces. Those who do not wear face masks will be assigned to undertake community services.


Security personnel is deployed to enforce ongoing measures. Additional restrictions may be implemented or eased in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
Coronavirus disease (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. 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