Travel risk round-up: 8 February

The following risk alerts were taken directly from our RiskMonitor platform.

Moderate
Haiti: Reports of Fatality and Several Injuries in Cap Haitien During Riots

According to local media sources on Thursday, 7 February, at least one person has been killed and several people injured during ongoing violent demonstrations in the city of Cap Haitien. The protesters decried the corruption present in the country and have called for the resignation of President Mohammed Moise. Today’s protests marked the second anniversary of President Moise’s coming to power. Similar protests are ongoing in Port au Prince as well as other major population centres.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members operating in Haiti are advised to avoid the vicinity of protests and large-scale gatherings, as even peaceful demonstrations can transform into violent episodes of unrest which can potentially prompt heavy-handed police crowd dispersal measures. Members are further advised to closely monitor local media sources for any further instructions from authorities and news regarding unrest in their area.


Moderate
Madagascar: Tens of Thousands Infected in Worst Measles Outbreak in Decades

According to local media sources on Thursday, 7 February, Madagascar is experiencing its worst measles outbreak in decades. The secretary general of the Ministry of Health said that more than 50,000 have caught the disease since October 2018 and there have been more than 300 deaths from it, mostly children. UNICEF and the World Health Organization have plans to launch four rounds of vaccines in a massive campaign to stem the spread of the disease.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Any members who may have been exposed and are experiencing symptoms including fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and rashes should consult health authorities. Travellers should monitor the situation and follow the advice of local authorities.


Low
Spain: Taxi Driver Strike Continues in Madrid; Disruption Expected

Taxi drivers continue to strike in Madrid, as of Monday, 4 February, to demand increased regulation on ride-sharing services such as Uber and Cabify. The strikes began on Monday, 21 January, and are set to continue until further notice. Associated protests are likely to take place in Madrid as long as the strike continues. Traffic disruption in the immediate area is expected, and travel disruptions across the city due to protesting taxi drivers should also be taken into account.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members in Madrid should avoid all demonstrations and large political gatherings in order to lessen the chances of being affected by incidental violence, opportunistic crime and subsequent police operations. Members should monitor local media sources for any further information regarding road closures and other travel disruption.


Low
Morocco: Multiple People Suspected to be Infected by H1N1 Virus in Al Haouz Province

On Tuesday, 5 February, local media sources stated that at least 16 people are being tested for the influenza virus H1N1 in the province of Al Haouz. No fatalities have been officially reported. Tests are being run to ascertain whether it is a case of influenza or other kind of diseases, while investigations to locate the alleged hotbed of the virus are underway. Studies are being conducted in the areas where the patients may have contracted the virus, while local authorities are preparing for eventual sanitisation processes to be put in place.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Symptoms of the virus include fever, coughing, sore throat and muscle aches. In more advanced cases, patients may also experience nausea and diarrhoea. Travellers in the aforementioned area can mitigate the risk posed by H1N1 by getting a vaccination shot, keeping the home and workplace well-ventilated, getting adequate amounts of sleep and eating healthy food. Travellers are advised to monitor local public health updates to identify any high-risk areas and consult a travel health specialist for the most up-to-date precautionary measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of infection.


Moderate
Iran: Police Fatality in Shootout with Gunmen; Fuel Tanker Explodes

National news outlets have reported that a shootout between gunmen and police in the western province of Lurestan on Wednesday, 6 February, resulted in the death of one policeman with another injured. Reports state that the shootout began near a gas station, with a fuel tanker exploding after it was hit by a stray bullet. The blast caused no structural damage to the surrounding buildings, but it did shatter all the windows in the vicinity. The assailants fled in a stolen car. The exact cause of the shootout is currently unknown. Many people in rural Lurestan are known to keep private firearms, which has often led to tribal-related armed clashes.

Advice for businesses and travellers

Members in Lurestan are advised to avoid the area of the incident in the immediate term due to the ongoing police operations. Travellers should monitor local media sources for further updates and to remain apprised of any associated disruption.


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