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25 Mar 2020 | 07:06 AM UTC

Uruguay: Border with Brazil closes amid COVID-19 pandemic March 22 /update 1

Uruguayan officials close border with Brazil in efforts to curb COVID-19 spread March 22; follow authority directives

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URY

Event

On Sunday, March 22, Uruguayan and Brazilian authorities announced the closure of their shared border with the intention of curbing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in both countries. The measure will remain in place for at least 30 days.

Government authorities have asked residents to remain indoors as much as possible, though no quarantine or movement restrictions have been implemented.

Flights to and from Europe were previously banned on Friday, March 20. Then on on Tuesday, March 17, the border with Argentina closed including the suspension of all sea, air, and land travel.

As of Wednesday, March 25, there are 189 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Uruguay. Further international spread of COVID-19 is expected over the coming days and weeks.

Context

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 numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

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.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.