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13 Apr 2020 | 09:17 AM UTC

Dominica: Restrictive COVID-19 measures remain in place as of April 13

Restrictive measures to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) remain in place in Dominica as of April 13; further international spread of the virus to be expected over near term

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Event

As of Monday, April 13, restrictive measures are still in effect across Dominica to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country. A state of emergency, initially announced on Wednesday, April 1, has since been extended to Tuesday, June 30, giving the government extraordinary measures to halt the further spread of the virus. A nightly curfew, implemented on April 1, is still in effect nationwide between 18:00 to 06:00 (local time), while a total lockdown is in place over the weekends between 18:00 on Fridays and 06:00 on Mondays. These measures are set to continue until Monday, May 11. Douglas-Charles Airport (DOM), Canefield Airport (DCF), and seaports have been closed to all passengers.

As of April 13, 16 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country and no associated deaths. 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) characterized the virus as 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, 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.