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04 Mar 2020 | 06:39 AM UTC

Eritrea: Authorities implement quarantine measures due to COVID-19 outbreak March 3

Eritrea implements quarantine measures for travelers who visited China, South Korea, and Italy due to COVID-19 outbreak March 3; further spread of the virus expected

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ERI

Event

Eritrean authorities announced new quarantine measures for travelers from areas with high numbers of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases amid fear of an outbreak in the country on Tuesday, March 3. The restriction of a mandatory 14-day quarantine period in a local hospital will apply to travelers who stayed in or transited through countries such as mainland China, South Korea, and Italy in the last 14 days. This list of countries is non-exhaustive and is subject to change.

Authorities also announced the quarantine of any travelers with COVID-19 symptoms (fever and cough).

There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Eritrea as of Wednesday, March 4.

Further spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

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 February 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the risk of spread and the risk of impact of the virus is "very high" at the global level.

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

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

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.

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, South Korea, Italy, and Iran, 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.