Commercial flights are set to resume in Chad from Saturday, August 1. Airports have been closed since March due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Travelers arriving in Chad will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate dated no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. Individuals must also surrender their passport and quarantine for seven days. On the seventh day they are required to take a COVID-19 test and upon presentation of the test receipt their passport will be returned. However, the resumption of operations at airports may be hampered by a strike by airline workers over workers' rights. Unions plan to paralyze operations at secondary airfields and partially disrupt services at N'Djamena International Airport (NDJ) on Saturday.
Lockdown measures remain in place in N'Djamena and other regions, including a curfew from 20:00 to 05:00 (local time) and a ban on leaving or entering these areas. As well as the capital, the measures are in place for Guera, Kanem, Logone Occidental, Mayo-Kebbi Ouest, and Mayo-Kebbi Est. A nationwide health emergency remains in effect and public gatherings are restricted. The wearing of facemasks is compulsory in public throughout the country.
Certain activities and businesses in Chad, including nonessential shops, markets, and restaurants with takeaway services, have been allowed to resume operations since May 21. Social distancing and hygiene measures must be adhered to in these establishments. Public transport services have resumed with a limited passenger capacity. Penalties including fines or possible imprisonment will be given to individuals found to be violating measures imposed.
As of August 1, there are 935 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chad and 75 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.