Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Authorities in Republic of Congo extend COVID-19 state of health emergency to July 30. Several restrictions remain in place.
- Alert Begins: 12 Jul 2020 11:40 AM UTC
- Alert Expires: 30 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Affected Area(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Significant business and travel disruptions
Congolese authorities have extended the state of health emergency through at least July 30 to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Restrictions established March 21 will remain in place for the duration of the extension; however, movement between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire and the rest of the country is permitted from June 23. Other restrictions that remain in place include:
- Land, sea, and air borders are closed to all traffic except the movement of cargo.
- A nationwide 2000-0500 curfew is in place through at least July 30.
- Shops, except those providing essential goods, are closed.
- Gatherings of more than 50 people are banned.
- Protective masks are mandatory in public spaces.
- Nonessential movement, except to purchase essential goods, is restricted.
- Schools and religious institutions are closed.
Security forces have deployed to enforce the restrictions. Additional restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are possible in the coming weeks.
Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments 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. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. 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.
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.