Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Niger extends state of health emergency for a further three months from July 12 as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

  • Alert Begins: 13 Jul 2020 04:20 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 12 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through October 2020
  • Impact: Significant travel, transport, and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Niger have extended the country's state of health emergency for a further three months from July 12 as part of the state's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Despite the extension of the emergency, several restrictions have also been eased recently, including the May 23 lifting of the curfew in Niamey and the resumption of academic activities, including the reopening of schools, June 1. Places of worship have also been allowed to reopen nationwide.

Domestic travel remains largely unrestricted with travel permitted into and out of Niamey. The status of international flights remains unclear; however, repatriation flights are ongoing. Land borders remain closed. The transport of cargo is permitted, and essential businesses are functioning. Officials may extend existing measures or impose new restrictions with little to no advance notice.

Background and Analysis
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.


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