Portuguese-speaking African countries extend preventive measures for Covid-19

The President of São Tomé and Príncipe, Evaristo Carvalho, decreed on Tuesday a state of national emergency to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and the prime minister, Jorge Bom Jesus announced a ban on entry into the country of all foreign citizens, the STP-Press news agency reported.

The prime minister also announced at the end of the meeting of the Council of Ministers that, “nationals and foreign residents who return to the country shall be subject to compulsory quarantine and duly accompanied by health agents and police authorities.”

Having decreed that the entry of technical and government missions at the invitation of the São Tomé state are authorised, under the condition of presentation a coronavirus screening test carried out at their airports of origin, Jesus said that, “the landing of flights in airports of São Tomé and Príncipe and berthing of cruise ships in the two ports is prohibited.”

“The supply of hospital materials and consumables, under an emergency scheme, will be secured by flights chartered for that purpose, in the event of a lack of commercial flights,” he said.

As regards freight and fishing vessels, and recreational boats, it is forbidden for crew and passengers to disembark at the ports of São Tomé and Príncipe.

The public and private schools in the country are scheduled to close from 6 pm on 20 March 2020, all public cultural, recreational, religious, sports and entertainment events, including nightclubs and popular festivals, from 6 pm on 20 March 2020 as well as the suspension and issuing of diplomatic and service passports to State agents in emergency situations, duly validated by the prime minister.

The Government of Cabo Verde said on Tuesday declared a contingency situation in terms of civil protection in the country and announced the ban, from Wednesday, 18 March, and for three weeks on air links with Portugal, the USA and Senegal.

The measures, which also cover all European countries affected by the new coronavirus (Covid-19), Brazil and Nigeria, fall under the “contingency situation in terms of civil protection” with national coverage decreed by the government.

The measures will come into force as of Wednesday, “and their end or duration may be reduced or extended based on the evolution of the epidemic in these countries.”

Exceptions to these measures include cargo flights, flights returning citizens on holiday or business trips to Cabo Verde to their countries of origin or residence, urgent medical evacuations and supplies of medical products, materials and hospital consumables, on an emergency basis.

These measures will be safeguarded and guaranteed through humanitarian flights, and the berthing of cruise ships, sailboats and disembarking passengers at the ports of Cabo Verde, the disembarkation of passengers arriving at the ports of Cabo Verde on cargo ships, fishing and similar vessels.

In Angola, the Interministerial Commission for the response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, coordinated by the Ministry of Health, decided on Tuesday in Luanda, to extend compulsory quarantine of at least 14 days, to all nationals and foreign residents arriving from Portugal, Spain and France.

With this measure, the number of countries with restricted entry in Angola, is increased to seven, after initially including China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.

The Interministerial Commission also determined compulsory quarantine to all citizens than at any time during this pandemic, have been in countries with community transmission of the new coronavirus or in contact with patients affected by Covid-19.

The number of deaths related to the new coronavirus has exceeded 7,000 around the world, after the announcement by Italy of 349 new deaths, according to a round-up by the France-Press news agency, with figures collated up to 5 pm on Tuesday. (macauhub)