Worldview Security Update – October 16, 2020
16-Oct-20

 

AMERICAS

Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 15 October 2020, the Ministry of Health announced new changes to its city-level quarantine measures that include adjustments to 44 municipalities based on the local epidemiological situation. As of 0500 local time (0800 UTC) on 19 October, the following areas will advance to phase two of the government’s five-step COVID-19 quarantine system: Molina and Longaví in the region of Maule; and Hualpén, Talcahuano, Concepción, Penco, San Pedro de la Paz and Chiguayante in the region of Biobío. As of 0500 local time on 19 October, the following areas will advance to phase three: Calama in the region of Antofagasta; Coquimbo, La serena and Ovalle in the region of Coquimbo; San Antonio in the region of Valparaíso; Santa Cruz in the region of O’Higgins; Panguipulli in the region of Los Ríos; and the municipalities of Renca, Paine, Melipilla, Maipú, San Joaquín, Lo Espejo, El Monte, San Bernardo in the Santiago metropolitan region. As of 0500 local time on 19 October, the following areas will advance to phase four: Til Til, María Pinto, San Pedro, Curacaví, Pirque and Colina located in the Santiago metropolitan region. As of 0500 local time on 17 October, the following areas will revert back to phase two: Perquenco, Freire and Vilcún in the region of La Araucanía; San Rosendo, Cabrero, Laja, Yumbel in the region of Biobío; and San José de Mariquina, Los Lagos and La Unión in the region of Los Ríos. As of 0500 local time on 17 October, the following areas will revert back to phase one (full quarantine): Cañete in the region of Biobío; Galvarino and Renaico in the region of La Araucanía; and Chonchi and Purranque in the region of The Lakes.

ASIA

Thailand (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 1900 local time (1200 UTC) on 16 October 2020, riot police deployed a water cannon reportedly laced with tear gas and an additional chemical irritant at anti-government protesters near the Pathumwan intersection and the Siam Center mall located in the capital Bangkok. Protesters responded by using umbrellas to deflect the water spray and clashed with security personnel. Thai officials used loudspeakers to warn protesters of arrest and issued arrest warrants for 12 activists. The demonstrators, many of whom are students, are calling for a new constitution and government. Authorities declared a “state of extreme emergency” in Bangkok the previous day in response to the ongoing protests, limiting public gatherings to a maximum of five people in an effort to end the protests. The demonstrations are likely to continue during the weekend of 17-18 October.

EUROPE

Azerbaijan / Kazakhstan / Philippines (Security threat levels – 3 / 3 / 4): On 16 October 2020, authorities in Azerbaijan announced that metro service in the capital Baku will be suspended for two weeks beginning on 19 October due to a rise of COVID-19 cases in the city. Metro services are expected to resume at 0600 local time (1000 UTC) on 2 November.

In Kazakhstan, authorities on 15 October imposed new restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Almaty, the largest city in the country. All gatherings of more than 10 people are banned. Catering facilities are only allowed to operate between 0700-2300 local time (1300-0500 UTC). Additionally, public transport services will suspend operations at 2300 local time nightly. The restrictions will remain in effect until further notice.

In the Philippines, authorities on 15 October lifted a ban on Philippine nationals leaving the country for nonessential reasons — set to go into effect as of 21 October. Philippine nationals seeking to travel must produce proof of confirmed round-trip tickets, sufficient travel insurance if entering another country on a tourist visa, an emigration declaration acknowledging the risks of travel, and a negative result on a COVID-19 test taken within 24 hours of departure. Nationals returning from overseas travel will be subject to Philippine entry protocols, including a mandatory quarantine period and COVID-19 testing.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Bolivia (Security threat level – 3): On 15 October 2020, the U.S. Embassy in La Paz issued a Security Alert regarding election-related restrictions, which reads in part as follows:

“The Plurinational Electoral Body issued the following nine nationwide restrictions that will be in effect on the days before and during the general elections schedule on October 18.

  1. Any form of public demonstration in support of or against any of the candidates is prohibited from 00:00h on Thursday, October 15 until 18:00h on October 18.
  2. It is forbidden to sell or consume alcoholic beverages in public or private spaces from 48 hours before general elections until 12:00h on the day after the elections.
  3. It is prohibited to carry firearms or dangerous instruments from 00:00h on October 18 until the day after the elections.
  4. Stores, restaurants, food courts, supermarkets, and markets are prohibited from opening on election day.
  5. It is also forbidden to carry out acts, meetings, or public shows of any kind.
  6. It is forbidden to move voters from one precinct to another using any means of transportation.
  7. It is forbidden to drive public and private vehicles from 00:00h on October 18 until the day after elections. Only those authorized by the TSE may circulate. Drivers who do not comply with the vehicle restrictions will be detained until 00:00h on October 19. The vehicle will be returned once the fine is paid.
  8. Cable car service is suspended, as well as land, lake, rail, and air transportation services throughout the country from 00:00h on October 18 until the day after elections.
  9. Domestic flights, inter-departmental and inter-provincial travel is prohibited from 00:00h on October 18 until the day after elections, with the exclusion of TSE officials to travel based on their work.

“International flights originating in, arriving in, or going out of Bolivia are exempt from the ban.”

The full text of the alert can be viewed here .

Brazil (Security threat level – 3): On 15 October 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia issued a Security Alert regarding potential increase in crimes in Brazil between late October and December, which reads in part as follows:

“Several state authorities across Brazil have announced the dates of their annual prisoner visitation release known as “Saidão” (the big exit), during which some prisoners will be temporarily released during this period to visit family for the holidays. Brazilian authorities caution that crimes such as theft, assault and home burglaries may increase this time of year. We encourage all U.S. citizens in Brazil to exercise security precautions and situational awareness at all times. In the Federal District, the announced dates of the 2020 Saidão are:

  • October 30th to November 3rd
  • November 17th to November 24th
  • December 21st to December 28th

“While these dates will vary from state to state, prisoner release schedules throughout the country are expected to follow the same general timeframe.”

The entire U.S. Embassy alert is available here .

Cyprus (Security threat level – 2): On 16 October 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “A demonstration is expected Saturday, October 17, at the Dherynia Crossing Point at 7:30 pm local time. Demonstrators are expected to gather in Dherynia and march toward the crossing point. Cyprus National Police officers will be present.”

Guinea (Security threat level – 4): On 15 October 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Conakry issued a Demonstration Alert regarding two protests planned for 16 October, which reads in part as follows:

“Locations: Demonstration One: Autoroute Fidel Castro from Gbessia roundabout to the Peoples Palace esplanage in Kaloum, through Gbessia Condebounyi, Bonfi, Matam, Kenian, Madina Koleah, and Castro bridge. The concerned Communes are Matoto, Matam, and Kaloum.

“Demonstration Two: National Football Stadium in Dixinn.

“Event: We have received information that two protest marches/demonstrations will take place on Friday, October 16, 2020 at the location(s) above.

“U.S. government personnel have been instructed to exercise extreme caution throughout Conakry tomorrow, October 16, 2020, and to avoid the above areas and the entire protest march route, as well as the locations of the protests.

“The American School of Conakry will be closed on Friday, October 16, 2020 and Monday, October 19, 2020.

“The Guinean presidential elections are scheduled for Sunday, October 18. There is always a possibility protest activity may occur in Conakry and throughout Guinea at any given time. The frequency and intensity of protest activity increases as an election date approaches, and during the week after the election.

“On election day, all roads will be closed to non-emergency traffic. Vehicles without special election worker permits will not be allowed on the roads.”

The full text of the alert is available here .

Analyst Comment: President Alpha Condé is running for a controversial third term, with the ruling party claiming he is eligible — despite a constitutional two term limit — due to a constitutional referendum that passed in March 2020. Violent clashes have broken out during opposition-organized protests against Condé’s bid for a third term.

Panama (Security threat level – 3): On 15 October 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Panama City issued a Health Alert regarding movement restrictions, which reads in part as follows: “Beginning Saturday, October 17, the province of Chiriqui and the district of Changuinola in Bocas del Toro will no longer have Saturday quarantine.

“Curfews will remain unchanged in the rest of Panama. Monday through Friday the curfew starts at 11:00 p.m and is lifted at 5:00 a.m., with quarantine from Saturday at 11:00 p.m. until Monday at 5:00 a.m.

“The provinces of Chiriqui and Colon and the districts of Chiriqui Grande, Isla Colon, Changuinola and Almirante in Bocas del Toro have curfew from Monday through Friday, 7:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m., with quarantine from Saturday at 7:00 p.m. until Monday at 5:00 a.m.

“In the rest of Bocas del Toro the curfew remains from 7:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m., Monday through Thursday, with a weekend quarantine from Friday at 7:00 p.m. until Monday at 5:00 a.m.”