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06 Feb 2020 | 10:29 AM UTC

Solomon Islands: Authorities implement entry restrictions due to 2019-nCoV outbreak February 1

Travelers from countries with confirmed 2019-nCoV cases will be denied entry to Solomon Islands February 1; confirm travel itineraries

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Event

On Saturday, February 1, Solomon Islands authorities announced a new regulation that will deny entry to travelers who have been to any country with a confirmed coronavirus (2019-nCoV) case in the 14 days prior to their arrival to the Solomon Islands. Residents and those with long-term passes (e.g., work permits, student visas) are exempted from the restriction. The government has not stated how long the measure will be in effect.

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

Context

The first case of 2019-nCoV 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 25 countries and territories worldwide. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the ongoing novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak is a "public health emergency of international concern."

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 individuals are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, respect government regulations, and contact their nearest embassy for further details. Individuals are also advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus:

  • Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold
  • Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)
  • Frequently wash hands and wear a face mask
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments
  • Travelers returning from China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid spreading the disease.