ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Brazil (Security threat level – 3): On 5 February 2022, thousands of demonstrators gathered in major Brazilian cities — including Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Recife, Salvador, Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre — to protest the murder of a Congolese refugee. The killing reportedly occurred at a waterside bar in Rio de Janeiro’s Barra da Tijuca neighborhood on 24 January. Authorities have since arrested three people in relation to the murder. Protesters demanded justice for the victim, and some participants called for the removal of President Jair Bolsonaro. There were no reports of violence or arrests during the demonstrations.
Canada (Security threat level – 2): On 6 February 2022, the mayor of Ottawa, the capital, declared a citywide state of emergency amid ongoing coronavirus-related protests by truck operators and their supporters who have blockaded streets in the city center since 28 January. Authorities have increased police presence near the protest site in downtown Ottawa and cordoned off additional roads in the area. Additionally, authorities announced a clampdown on people attempting to provide canisters of fuel to assist the protesting truck drivers. Although there have been no reports of notable violence, seven people were arrested on 6 February. Local police officials are currently conducting 60 criminal investigations, most of which are for theft, property damage and possible hate crimes. The “Freedom Convoy” initially arrived in the capital on 28 January from the western city of Vancouver, British Columbia, to protest the government mandate requiring truckers crossing the Canada-U.S. border to be fully vaccinated.
Associated demonstrations occurred in other major Canadian cities during the past weekend. In Toronto, thousands of demonstrators gathered in the city’s Financial District on 5 February in support of protesters in Ottawa. Police officers intervened to separate the protesters and about 500 counterprotesters who had gathered in the area. At least two people were arrested during the demonstration in Toronto. Meanwhile in Vancouver, hundreds of protesters drove their vehicles through the city to the downtown area, severely disrupting traffic. Counterprotesters attempted to block the convoy. Police officers detained five people in Vancouver in relation to the demonstrations after receiving reports of eggs thrown at vehicles and nails scattered on roads.
United States (Security threat level – 2): At approximately 1540 local time (2040 UTC) on 6 February 2022, a passenger aircraft experienced a burst tire upon landing at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (KATL/ATL) in Georgia. The Airbus A321 aircraft operating Delta Air Lines Flight 1277 skidded off the runway upon landing and came to a stop in a grassy area after a tire on its right-hand main gear blew out. All 172 passengers on board safely disembarked the aircraft without any injuries and were transported to the terminal. The flight originated at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (KDFW/DFW). The Federal Aviation Administration has launched a probe into the incident.
Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): On 7 February 2022, a senior Cabinet minister announced additional coronavirus-related restrictions in the capital Jakarta as well as in the cities of Bali, Bandung and Yogyakarta in an attempt to curb the recent rise in new COVID-19 cases. The new restrictions will limit shopping malls, restaurants and supermarkets to 60% of their maximum capacity, while religious facilities will be limited to 50% of their maximum capacity. Separately, the Ministry of Transport rescinded a 6 February statement declaring that foreign tourists and Indonesian nationals returning from abroad would not be allowed to enter through Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (WIII/CGK).
Australia (Security threat level – 2): On 7 February 2022, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australia’s borders will reopen to fully vaccinated foreign tourists on 21 February. Travelers who are not fully vaccinated must still request an exemption to travel and must adhere to quarantine measures after arrival. The government previously relaxed border restrictions for select categories, including international students and skilled immigrants, in November 2021, although most foreigners have been banned from entering Australia since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
South Pacific Islands (Security threat level – 1): On 7 February 2022, the Tongan government announced an extension to the current nationwide lockdown by two weeks due to a rising number of new COVID-19 cases. Under the lockdown, all businesses are closed, and all nonessential workers must remain at their place of residence. Grocery stores may operate for a 12-hour period on Tuesdays and Fridays; only one person per household is allowed entry into stores.
United Arab Emirates (Security threat level – 3): The threat level for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been raised to 3 (Medium) from 2 (Low) in view of the increased risk of missile and armed drone attacks targeting the country. Four such attacks have targeted the capital Abu Dhabi during recent weeks. The Iran-aligned Houthi militant group based in Yemen claimed responsibility for the initial three attacks, whereas the most recent attack on 2 February was claimed by a little-known Shiite militant group called Alwiyat al-Wa’d al-Haq (True Promise Brigades) that is believed to be based in Iraq. The missile defense system in the UAE intercepted all projectiles, except for those that fell in two adjacent areas in Abu Dhabi on 17 January. The drone attack ignited a blaze at an oil facility near Abu Dhabi International Airport (OMAA/AUH) and killed three foreign workers, including two Indian nationals and one Pakistani. An additional six people were wounded in that attack. Both the Houthi and Alwiyat al-Wa’d al-Haq militant groups have threatened to continue attacks and target “vital installations” across the UAE. These groups claim the attacks are in response to the country’s continued participation in the ongoing war against the Houthis in Yemen. Such attacks targeting the UAE are likely to continue in retaliation for the country’s active participation in Saudi Arabia-led military coalition fighting in Yemen.
Madagascar (Security threat level – 3): On 6 February 2022, Tropical Cyclone Batsirai produced heavy rains that resulted in flooding in several cities and towns across central and southern Madagascar, displacing tens of thousands of residents. In the eastern coastal district of Mananjary — located approximately 280 km (170 mi) southeast of the capital Antananarivo — heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding destroyed dozens of homes in the region. According to local officials in the coastal town of Nosy Varika, most of the town’s buildings were destroyed and the town was without power as a result of fallen powerlines. Additionally, in the south-central town of Ambalavao, three people were killed when their house collapsed as a result of strong winds. The deaths of at least seven additional people were reported throughout central and southern Madagascar. Antananarivo experienced heavy rainfall and moderate winds as the outer bands of the cyclone passed through the city. Authorities estimate that at least 48,000 residents were displaced as a result of the storm.