Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Authorities in Sudan extend full lockdown measures in Khartoum State through June 1; flights suspended until further notice due to COVID-19.
This alert affects Sudan
This alert began 18 May 2020 23:00 GMT and is scheduled to expire 17 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Through June 1
- Impact: Increased security, transport and business disruptions; possible protests
Authorities in Sudan have extended the existing full lockdown measures in Khartoum State for a period of 14 days, from May 19 through June 1, as part of their efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The measures, which were initially introduced April 18, impose restrictions on travel and movement in the state. However, residents are still allowed to leave their homes to purchase food or medications and to access medical facilities.
Other measures taken by the government of Sudan include:
- Suspension of all domestic and international passenger flights until further notice; does not apply to emergency and cargo flights
- Nationwide curfew hours of 1800-0600
- Closure of land and sea borders
- A ban on mass gatherings and intercity and interstate public transportation
Officials had previously closed all airports, including Khartoum International Airport (KRT), from March 16. Authorities have deployed security personnel to enforce restrictions related to COVID-19. Additional travel restrictions or health security measures could be implemented, depending on the disease activity in the coming days.
Background and Analysis
The COVID-19-related measures adopted by the government correspond with similar actions taken by other governments in recent weeks 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.
The travel restrictions in Khartoum come amid Sudan's economic deterioration, particularly involving the rise of bread and fuel prices. Hundreds of people demonstrated April 10, violating the existing nationwide health-related state of emergency. Further protests are possible. Police may deploy to confront protesters if and when they violate curfew and movement restrictions.
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.