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25 Mar 2020 | 06:39 AM UTC

Burkina Faso: Authorities enact further restrictive measures due to COVID-19 /update 4

Authorities order bars, restaurants, markets to close in Ouagadougou and its surroundings from March 25 to April 20 to prevent further spread of COVID-19; follow government directives

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Event

Authorities in Burkina Faso have ordered all bars, restaurants, and markets in the capital Ouagadougou and its surroundings to close from Wednesday, March 25, until at least Monday, April 20, to prevent further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. All gatherings are also prohibited.

These new measures have been implemented amid a nationwide overnight curfew, ongoing between 19:00 to 05:00 (local time) since Saturday, March 21, until further notice. Commercial flights out of Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso have also been suspended and all land and rail border crossing points have also been closed for two weeks from March 21.

As of Tuesday, March 24, there are 75 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country. Further international spread of the virus is expected over 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 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.

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 virus.