In a message transmitted by Angolan public television, TPA, João Lourenço spoke about the "worrying picture" that forced the government to take "exceptional measures that allowed the negative impact of the pandemic at a national level to be controlled and its effects on citizens' lives".
He stressed that the pandemic "has spread all over the planet", pointing to a significant increase in the number of cases in Europe and the world, which has forced a "redoubled effort" to control the virus.
He stressed that in Angola there has been no positive outcome to date, with hundreds of passengers being screened "from high-risk countries" at Luanda airport, but despite this, the government decided to take "urgent exceptional measures in order to prevent the importation of cases and safeguard the life and safety of the population".
The President asked his fellow citizens to observe "the rules of civic-mindedness, social commitment and solidarity in a collective effort to preserve the common good and defend the national interest," and called on all Angolan citizens and foreign residents to comply with the measures contained in the provisional presidential decree, to be published on Wednesday, "as a way to overcome this difficult moment that the country and the world are facing.
Faced with the infection caused by the Covid-19 virus, the high death rate associated with it and the negative social and economic impact throughout the world, the President decreed the suspension of all commercial and private passenger flights from Angola to abroad and vice versa, prohibiting the movement of people at land borders, as well as the docking and disembarking of passenger ships and their crews from abroad, in all national ports, for 15 days, starting at 00h00 on Friday.
This period may be extended for an equal period depending on the overall behaviour of the Covid-19 pandemic, the diploma indicates.
Passengers disembarking at national airports by 00h00 on 20 March will have to fill in a form for compulsory health checks and stay at home for a period of 14 days.
Visits to these citizens will be prohibited and their absence from work will be considered justified.
The border suspension measure does not cover cargo flights or those which are indispensable for humanitarian reasons or in the service of the country's foreign policy.
Public events with more than 200 persons, including religious services, cultural, recreational, sporting, political, associative, tourist or other activities shall be prohibited.
All public and private establishments, including shops, schools, bars and restaurants, which remain open to the public shall be required to provide running water and soap or alcohol-based disinfectant.
The new coronavirus, responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, has infected more than 210,000 people worldwide, of whom more than 8,750 have died.