Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities declare three-month state of health emergency as part of measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19 across Togo April 1.

This alert affects Togo

This alert began 02 Apr 2020 12:39 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through June 2
  • Impact: Severe travel disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Togo have declared a three-month state of health emergency April 1 as part of measures to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). New measures include a nationwide curfew 1900-0600 nightly. A new anti-pandemic unit will also be created, although the new group's remit is currently unclear.

New measures will support existing restrictions such as the closure of all land borders, social distancing, and lockdown orders in large cities. The border closure currently in place will not affect cargo or humanitarian transport. Increased screening measures will be put in place at high-risk overland border crossing points with state security monitoring travel on major roads. Security forces killed one person who tried to cross the border illegally March 23. The suspension of flights remains in place. Expansions and extensions of travel restrictions are possible at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures the government has taken correspond with similar actions taken by other West African 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. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling 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.

Resources
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int

Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene (French): sante.gouv.tg