Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Movement and travel restrictions persist in Niger as of April 11. Restrictions likely through April.

This alert affects Niger

This alert began 11 Apr 2020 09:05 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through April
  • Impact: Significant travel, transport, and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Niger have enacted several measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. As of April 11, a nationwide State of Emergency, originally enacted March 28, remains in place. Additional restrictions are outlined below.

  • Land borders are closed until further notice. International passenger flights are suspended through at least mid-April; this is likely to be extended. The repatriation of foreign nationals is ongoing. It is likely that the transport of essential goods is ongoing.
  • Niamey and its immediate surrounds remain under significant movement restrictive measures through at least April 12. The restrictions are likely to be renewed.
  • A curfew of 1900-0600 is in effect. There is conflicting information regarding whether the curfew is in place in Niamey only or across the country.
  • Gatherings of 50 or more are banned. There are other restrictions on public gatherings, including a suspension of religious events.


The security forces will almost certainly deploy to monitor and enforce the restrictions. Amendments to or the application of new measures, including at short notice, are possible.

Background and Analysis
Most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Niger, have reported imported and transmitted cases of COVID-19. Test results are pending in additional suspected cases, some of which will likely be confirmed. Niger, like many countries on the continent, will likely struggle to contain and slow the spread of the disease, given poor medical conditions compared to severely affected countries with better medical facilities.

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. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. 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. Plan for possible ground shipping and travel delays; seek alternative routes and shipping methods for time-sensitive cargo. Avoid all demonstrations.

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 Organization: www.who.int

Ministry of Health Coronavirus Website: https://coronavirus.ne