As of Monday, February 17, the Australian government reported that authorities in Seychelles have restricted entry to non-residents that have traveled to mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao, in the preceding 14 days, due to the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The restrictions also apply to passengers arriving by sea. Residents returning from countries "where there has been significant local transmission" will be placed under quarantine for 14 days. In this case, it is unclear which countries are concerned, and more generally how long the restrictions will remain in effect for.
As of Monday, February 17, no COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the Seychelles.
Further international spread of the COVID-19 virus is to be expected over the coming days and weeks.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in 29 countries and territories worldwide. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 outbreak is a "very grave threat."
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
- If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
- Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, travelers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid potential spread of the disease.