Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Authorities in Togo extend health state of health emergency through August 16 due to COVID-19; other restrictions in place.
- Alert Begins: 07 Jul 2020 01:24 AM UTC
- Alert Expires: 16 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Travel and business restrictions
Authorities in Togo have extended the health state of emergency through August 16 as part of the nation's efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities, however, had eased some COVID-19 restrictions from June 9. In addition to the end of the nightly 2200-0500 curfew, officials reopened all cities under lockdown restrictions.
Restrictions that remain in place include:
- All residents must wear facemasks when in public.
- Ban on international passenger air travel; the measure does not include emergency and repatriation flights.
- The closure of all land borders; cargo and humanitarian transport is unaffected.
- Increased screening measures in place at high-risk overland border crossing points with state security monitoring travel on major roads.
- Social distancing measures and restrictions on public gatherings.
- Suspension of all academic activities until further notice.
Authorities could ease further restrictions or implement additional preventative measures in the coming days and weeks, depending on the evolution of disease activity.
Background and Analysis
The measures the government has taken correspond with similar actions taken by other West African states 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.
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.