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15 Nov 2020 | 08:22 AM UTC

Guinea: Health state of emergency extended until December 14 /update 13

Authorities announce health state of emergency extended until December 14; follow government directives

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Event

Guinean authorities announced on Saturday, November 14, that the ongoing health state of emergency has been extended for 30 days, until at least December 14 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The state of emergency gives the government the power to implement necessary measures to limit the spread of the disease.

Despite the extension of the state of emergency, some COVID-19 restrictions in the country have been eased. Public transport services have already resumed in Conakry, with passengers required to wear face asks at all times. Bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and other entertainment venues are permitted to reopen and sports activities and professional sport are allowed to resume, as are most cultural activities. Individuals must wear face masks in these establishments. Additional hygiene measures including frequent hand washing and social distancing regulations should be observed by all. Some establishments have implemented temperature checks on arrival.

Individuals remain required to wear face masks in public and private spaces, and those caught violating the regulations may be subject to fines. The existing 00:01 to 04:00 (local time) curfew in Greater Conakry, which includes Conakry, Coyah, and Dubreka, remains in effect. Although some places of worship and schools have reopened in areas without recent COVID-19 infections recorded, limits on group gatherings including for weddings, funerals, and baptism services remain in place.

Conakry Gbessia International Airport (CKY) resumed operations as air borders gradually reopened in mid-July for international and domestic flights. All passengers arriving into or departing the country are required to present a negative COVID-19 certificate for a test taken within five days prior to their travel. Additional screening measures should be expected at airports. Travelers are also required to wear face masks and ensure they have at least three more for the duration of the journey. Land and sea borders remain closed until further notice, except for the transportation of goods.

As of Saturday, October 17, there have been 11,362 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Guinea with 70 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.

Context

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.

Advice

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 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, 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.

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