Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Republic of Congo extend state of emergency through May 11 to curb the spread of COVID-19. Further extensions possible.

This alert affects Congo

This alert began 30 Apr 2020 12:36 GMT and is scheduled to expire 11 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Affected Area(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Significant business and travel disruptions; increased security

Summary
Congolese authorities have extended the public health state of emergency through at least May 11 as part of the nation's efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Measures include:

  • All residents required to remain at home, except essential employees
  • Residents prohibited from outdoor movement, except for essential activities
  • Nightly 2000-0500 curfew
  • All stores, except those that sell food and essential items, to close


Government security forces will deploy to enforce the restrictions.

The government closed all borders, schools, and universities and suspended inbound and outbound international flights since March 21. Sporting events and gatherings are banned; bars and restaurants are closed until further notice. Additional restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Republic of Congo are possible in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Congolese government are stricter than those taken by many governments globally in recent months 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.

Advice
Reconfirm all planned travel arrangements. Plan accordingly for protracted commercial, transport, and logistics disruptions. Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Consider delaying travel 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.


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