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17 Mar 2020 | 07:21 AM UTC

Côte d’Ivoire: Authorities implement tighter measures due to COVID-19 March 16 /update 1

Ivorian government bans entry for travelers from countries with over 100 COVID-19 cases and order school closures March 16; take precautions against virus



Authorities in Côte d'Ivoire announced that from Monday, March 16, those who had traveled to countries with over 100 coronavirus (COVID-19) cases would be denied entry for a 15-day period. Ivoirian nationals and non-Ivoirian permanent coming from the affected countries will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

As a precautionary measure, the government has closed all educational institutions (primary schools, universities, etc.) for a 30-day period from March 16. All sports and cultural events will also be suspended and night clubs, theaters, and cinemas - with the exception of bars and restaurants - will reportedly be closed for an indefinite period from Wednesday, March 18.

As of Monday, March 16, there are four confirmed COVID-19 cases in Côte d'Ivoire. Further international spread of the virus to be 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 (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


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.

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with 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, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.

Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.