ANGOLA

Information last updated: April 24, 2020

  • Total population: 30.8 M
  • Population +65 yo: 2%
  • GDP Per Capita: 6,453USD
  • Informal employment: 68% (2011)
  • First registered case: 21 March
  • Hospital beds: Not available

Status

  • Level of confinement and until when: Since April 24, the state of emergency has been extended for another 15 days.
    • The circulation and the permanence of people in public places is not allowed and any mobility must be justified.
    • People arriving from abroad must be quarantined. 
    • Mobility between provinces is allowed at the except of Luanda.The borders are closed. 
  • March 21, Angola confirmed the first cases of COVID-19 infection.
  • First community transmission was registered on April 27.
  • May 13:
    • Number of infected: 45 
    • Number of deaths: 2
    • Number of recovered: 6

Response set up and capacity

  • Angola is under a context of two shocks, the coronavirus and the drop-in oil prices. Angola depended almost exclusively on oil (90% of exports and 60% of government revenues).
  • A higher level multi-disciplinary task force has been formed. A multi-sectoral response plan assigns responsibilities to the twenty-three key institutions.
  • The Minister of Health, Silvia Lutucuta, and the Secretary of State for Public Health, Franco Mufinda, are responsible for taking measures on health issues.
Stakeholder Mapping

Entities / Organizations

• UNCTAD
• Sonangol
• WHO

Additional actors

• The President: João Lourenço
• The Minister of Health: Silvia Lutucuta
• Secretary of State for Public Health: Franco Mufinda
• Trade minister: Víctor Fernandes

Mitigating factors - What is being done?

  • March 19: The government announces that the borders will be closedthe closure applies to all airports, seaports and land borders after the 20th March.
  • March 27: The government declares a state of emergency, involving a set of measures:
    • The circulation and the permanence of people in public places is not allowed and any mobility must be justified.
    • People arriving from abroad must be quarantined. Health authorities monitor 575 citizens in institutional quarantine and 195 suspected cases (95 are Cuban). So far 1086 individuals have been quarantined.
    • Mobility between provinces is allowed with the exception of Luanda, no one can enter or leave the capital. The borders are closed. Public entertainment establishments such as bars and restaurants are closed. Street markets are allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Colleges and universities are closed.
    • Events of more than 50 people are prohibited. People have to wear masks in public places. Humanitarian flights are the only ones allowed. Weekly, on average, two flights depart for Europe, but no national flights have been registered coming back with Angolans.
  • April 7: Due to the increase of confirmed cases, the Health Ministry announced the application of the civil requisition law, requiring retired health care professionals to report to service and reinforce the health sector.
  • April 11: The government approves transitional measures to respond to the low oil prices and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which aim to adapt to the current context, the financing structure and the trajectory of realization of public expenditures. 
    • The state will protect households that live under the threat of an increase of the price of basic goods, due to breaks in the supply chain, to the reduction of family income, potential unemployment and wage cuts, and lower consumption of its production of goods and services, especially in the informal sector. 
    • 260 additional Cuban doctors arrive in Angola and are expected to be allocated country wide.
  • April 16: A caravan of public health specialists leaves Luanda for the regions. The initiative received technical and financial support from the WHO.
  • April 18: To mitigate risks of shortages of essential goods, which are predominantly imported, the BNA instructed banks to provide credit in local currency to assist importers.
  • April 24: Angola authorities extend the state of emergency until May 10.
    • Application of less strict rules that allow non-essential commercial and industry activities to operate and the partial resumption of all public services. 
    • The sanitary restrictions are lifted in 17 out 18 provinces and people are now able to move to other provinces for commerce and business, excluding to and from Luanda. 
    • Retired health care professionals are called to report to service. 
    • The daily testing capacity is increased from 90 to 300 tests. 
    • The World Bank is working with the authorities to provide financing for medical supplies equipment. The UN is also providing technical and financial support—an additional grant of US$12.5 million.

Risks, vulnerabilities, obstacles

  • The Covid-19 is likely to severely affect Angola, a country with high levels of monetary and multidimensional poverty, a limited social protection system, with a large share of the population working the informal economy and high unemployment rates, especially among youth and women.
  • The health system is under-resourced. More than 50% of the population does not have access to health services and the quality of available services and their coverage are both severely limited. 
  • There is also the problem of non-compliance in terms of mobility regulations. The high dependence on the informal economy can lead people to break the rules imposed by the government.

Potential actions and demands

  • To strengthen the fight against COVID-19 in Angola, WHO calls for the collaboration of the entire population to comply with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health regarding physical distancing, use of protective masks –including home-made, in order to prevent the risks of transmission and contamination of the disease.
  • The main need is to be able to reactivate the economy and overcome the crisis that exists due to low oil prices. The government has sought to encourage exports of products other than oil.
  • UNCTAD is supporting the government’s efforts to diversify the economy: “Diversifying Angola’s economic structure away from its heavy dependence on oil is key to boosting competitiveness and will help the country reduce its vulnerability to external shocks”.

Key resources

Contributor(s): Ivan Velasquez.