Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Somalia to impose indefinite 2000-0500 curfew in Mogadishu from April 15 as part of nationwide efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

This alert affects Somalia

This alert began 13 Apr 2020 18:11 GMT and is scheduled to expire 13 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Restrictions
  • Affected Area(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Period: Indefinite
  • Impact: Heightened security; transport and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Somalia plan to impose an indefinite 2000-0500 curfew in Mogadishu from April 15 as part of the nation's efforts to halt the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Essential service providers such as medical personnel, health workers, and food distributors will be exempt from the curfew. The order is part of a broader program of nationwide measures aimed at containing the disease, which includes the closure of schools, restaurants, and bars. A federal government suspension of domestic and international passenger flights which entered into effect March 18 will continue through at least May 6; cargo and humanitarian aid flights are continuing to operate, however.

Some locations outside the nation's capital have also taken similar measures due to COVID-19 activity. A nightly curfew is in place in the city of Garowe, Puntland. Moreover, authorities in Somaliland have established a series of strict measures, including the closure all land borders, a 14-day quarantine for all travelers arriving through Egal International Airport (HGA), and a ban on public gatherings. The region of Somaliland has also closed all its seaports with the exception of the Port of Berbera; however, essential goods such as food, fuel, and medical supplies are allowed to arrive by sea. Other regions could impose similar restrictions over the coming weeks.

Security personnel will likely remain deployed throughout affected areas of the country to enforce any curfews and other restrictions that may be in place. Supply chains and shortages of some goods are possible. Further restrictions on travel, public gatherings, and social distancing measures are likely if disease activity increases.

Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent days 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.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Consider delaying traveling to Nigeria until officials lift restrictions. 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

Ministry of health Somalia: http://moh.gov.so