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17 Mar 2020 | 01:43 PM UTC

Equatorial Guinea: Government implements travel restrictions due to COVID-19 March 13

Equatorial Guinea implements travel restrictions due to COVID-19 March 13; first case confirmed March 14

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transportation
GNQ

Event

On Friday, March 13, Equatorial Guinea announced the closure of its land borders with Cameroon and Gabon, the suspension of all commercial international flights, and a mandatory 14-day quarantine for individuals arriving from any country affected by the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), regardless of their state of health. Additionally, the country will no longer issue visas in its consular network. These measures will remain in place through Monday, April 13.

The country confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Saturday, March 14. According to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 42-year-old patient recently returned from Spain.

Further international spread of the virus 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 the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble 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, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.