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14 Mar 2020 | 07:11 AM UTC

Peru: Flights to and from Europe and Asia banned due to COVID-19 March 13 /update 2

Peruvian government bars travel to/from Europe and Asia as of March 13 due to COVID-19 pandemic; follow authority directives

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Event

On Thursday, March 12, the Peruvian government announced that flights to and from all destinations in Europe and Asia will be banned starting on Friday, March 13, in efforts to curb the ongoing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). President Martin Vizcarra previously announced that public gatherings of greater than 300 people would be suspended. Further, all public and private schools nationwide were closed from Wednesday, March 11 through Monday, March 30.

As of Saturday, March 14, there are 38 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Further international 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 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 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.