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27 May 2020 | 10:41 PM UTC

Eswatini: Authorities extend state of emergency through to June 19 /update 5

Authorities extend the country’s state of emergency through to June 19; continue to follow authority directives

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health
transportation
SWZ

Event

On Tuesday, May 19, the government extended the nationwide state of emergency through to at least Friday, June 19, amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Some easing of restrictions around the opening of businesses have taken place. According to reports, businesses in the manufacturing and production sectors will be allowed to resume operations and non-essential business operations, such as retail stores, will be permitted to operate three days a week. Authorities also stated that public transportation services, which are operating for essential movement, will be able to resume operations with 70 percent passenger capacity.

All nonessential travel between towns, cities, and regions of the country is banned, and movement outside of homes is also restricted, except for essential services such as health care, food, and banking. No more than 20 people are allowed in restaurants or banks at any given time, and gatherings of more than 20 people are prohibited. Security forces have been deployed to enforce lockdown measures.

As on Wednesday, May 27, there are 272 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Eswatini, with two 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). 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 the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble 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.

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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