Eritrea Ministry of Health: Timely Public Announcement (No. 1)
Three months have already elapsed since the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China. In this period, the disease has spread to all the continents at an alarming rate. Over 100,000 people have been infected worldwide while over 4,000 infected patients have died so far.
Not a single person has been infected in Eritrea to-date. However, the country is linked by land, air, and sea with several countries affected by the disease. This makes it urgent and imperative for Eritrea to take precautionary measures to prevent the outbreak and spread of the disease as well as to prepare for all possible scenarios.
In view of these facts, the Ministry of Health issues the following guidelines:
1. Continuous sensitization campaigns will be disseminated through the various local media outlets in order to provide timely and full information to the general public. These announcements must be followed with due diligence.
2. In view of the potential gravity of the situation and for the sake of their own safety as well as the safety of the Eritrean people, the Ministry of Health urges all nationals and foreigners who may have plans to travel to, and from Eritrea, to postpone their plans on their own volition.
3. The Ministry of Health will continue to monitor developments earnestly to assess occurrence, rate and extent of contagion, and other vital parameters and symptoms of the epidemic. It will accordingly issue appropriate announcements and guidelines.
4. Visitors who originate directly from, or who have transited through, China, Italy, South Korea and Iran will be quarantined.
Ministry of Health
11 March 2020
Ministry of Health: Additional Public Announcement on COVID-19 (No. 2)
Fully cognizant of the grave danger that Corona Virus (COVID-19) potentially poses to the safety of all nationals as well as expatriates in the country, the Ministry of Health, (MoH), had issued four-point guidelines on March 11 last week. The guidelines focused, primarily, on voluntary travel restrictions from, and to, Eritrea. The MoH also indicated, in the public announcement of March 11, that it will follow developments and trends closely and issue additional information and guidelines accordingly.
In this respect, and although there is no outbreak of COVID-19 in our country so far, the Ministry of Health issues the following guidelines to all nationals and expatriates residing in the county in view of the rapid spread of the pandemic in our region and the wider world.
1. Every person should refrain from internal as well as foreign travel unless this is for extremely urgent and unavoidable purposes;
2. Every person must avoid, in as much as this is possible, public gatherings;
3. Foreign travel from and to Eritrea has diminished significantly on the basis of the first MoH guidelines issued last week. This will be bolstered further henceforth to fully restrict travel from, and to, Eritrea except in urgent and unavoidable circumstances;
4. The MoH will continue to monitor developments and trends regarding COVID-19 and issue, as necessary, further information and guidelines.
Ministry of Health
16 March 2020
Ministry of Health: Public Guidelines (No. 3)
As announced through local media guidelines, an Eritrean national resident in Norway who flew to Asmara last Saturday, March 21st, was confirmed positive for COVID-19. The patient is receiving all necessary treatment while passengers who travelled on the same Airline were subsequently quarantined.
The Ministry of Health urges, again, all citizens and foreigners residing in the country to take utmost precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic and to strictly implement Government guidelines for the safety of their own lives and the country.
In this spirit, the MoH issues the following additional guidelines:
1. Every person should avoid non-essential movement within the city or village of residence as well as travel to other places inside the country. Every person should likewise avoid travel by bus, mini-bus and taxis unless in emergencies.
2. All public gatherings, sport and cultural events that assemble a crowd of more than 10 people are prohibited. Cinemas and night-clubs will remain closed until further notice. Social distancing must be heeded to in other commercial units and centers.
3. Aggregation of more than 10 people at social events (funerals, weddings, mourning, baptism and other gatherings) is banned.
4. Every citizen must observe, and same instruction is being given by religious leaders to the faithful, prayers and associated religious sermons in their homes.
5. All Eritrean nationals living abroad are urged to take all necessary precautionary measures for their own safety, the safety of their families as well as the Eritrean communities. They should also refrain from travelling to Eritrea.
6. Stringent legal measures will be taken on all individuals and commercial enterprises that engage in hoarding and speculative price hikes by misconstruing the precautionary measures that are being taken to safeguard the safety of the Eritrean people and the country.
7. The Ministry of Health will continue to monitor developments regarding COVID-19 and issue additional information and guidelines as necessary.
Ministry of Health
23 March 2020
Ministry of Health: Public Announcement (No. 5)
Two other passengers who returned home with Air Arabia Airlines on Monday 23 March tested positive, bringing the total number of patients in the country diagnosed with COVID-19 to six. All the patients are receiving necessary treatment and their condition remains satisfactory.
As underlined in previous weeks, the Government of Eritrea has been, and continues to take, several important measures to contain and fully stop the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. In this respect, the MoH issues the following additional guidelines today:
1. All institutions of learning – from Kindergarten to Colleges – will be closed starting tomorrow, 27 March 2020.
2. All public transport vehicles – buses, minibuses and taxis – in all the cities will stop services from 6:00 a.m. tomorrow, March 27th. Use of trucks for public transport is illicit and punishable by law.
3. With the exception of those who may be granted special permit by the competent authority in urgent circumstances, all public transport services from one Region to another, or from one city to another, will likewise be stopped from 6:00 a.m. tomorrow, 27 March 2020.
4. These guidelines will remain effective until further notice.
5. Although all Government institutions play a significant role in the effective implementation of the current and previous guidelines, it is nonetheless incumbent on every citizen to act with due diligence and responsibility to ensure his/her own good health and safety as well as those of his/her family.
6. The Ministry of Health will continue to monitor developments and trends regarding COVID-19 and issue, as necessary, further information and guidelines.
Ministry of Health
26 March 2020
Ministry of Health: Public Announcement No.6
The Government of Eritrea has been issuing guidelines periodically for controlling the spread of COVID-19. The guidelines have not been implemented with the rigour and seriousness that they warrant. Contrary to the guidelines on social distancing, the crowding that continues to occur in religious places of worship, and other social events as well as in service enterprises is extremely preoccupying. At a time when the pandemic is spreading all over the world at an alarming rate and entailing huge loss of life, all guidelines must be respected fully by every citizen. The relevant government bodies must also take appropriate deterrent action.
In this respect, the following measures are being taken in addition to those which were announced previously:
1. Relevant government authorities will take punitive measures from tomorrow, 31st March 2020, on all citizens and institutions that violate the guidelines.
2. Bars, restaurants, cafés and other service outlets that cater to sizeable clients will be closed for 14 days from 6:00 a.m. tomorrow, 31st March 2020. All employees of these enterprises will not be laid off and their full salary for the period in question will be borne by the employer.
3. Essential enterprises, banks, pharmacies, groceries and outlets for other necessary consumer goods will remain open.
4. Payment of electricity, water and telephone household bills will be postponed.
5. All court sessions – at all levels – will be postponed until further notice.
6. All Government bodies will issue and observe detailed guidelines to implement all measures taken to-date in their respective institutions.
Ministry of Health
30 March 2020