Progressive return to normalcy
The joint effort between the Government and humanitarian partners in addressing the crisis seems to be yielding fruit as a progressive downward trend in the number of new COVID-19 cases nationwide is being observed. This turning point was noticed in mid-April as the number of cases continue to decrease. Against this back-drop, the government has lifted bans related to the sanitary isolation of Niamey including the reopening of schools, authorization of interurban passenger transportation, commercial activities the convening of workshops and seminars nationwide. Civil service has resumed regular working hours with full staff in attendance.
In an effort to contain the spread of the disease and to prevent the importation of new cases, the humanitarian community supported the Government to establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the use of Regional passenger humanitarian flights; set-up and managed by WFP. The key aspects of the document focus on measures to be taken prior to travel, during the flight and upon arrival. Responsibilities are clearly stipulated for the traveller, the organization and the government. The government decided on 24 May to temporarily suspend the arrival of passengers into the country until the establishment of an SOP which was endorsed on 13 June. After the ban was lifted, the first humanitarian passengers disembarked in Niamey on 18 June.
In compliance with the lifting of COVID-19 related restrictions by the government, the United Nations in Niger has established a guidance note to ensure a safe and coordinated physical return to offices for staff. This return will be progressive starting with essential staff in July.