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14 Feb 2020 | 12:49 PM UTC

Turkmenistan: Quarantine measures in place for foreign travelers as of February 9 /update 1

Government implements quarantine measures for foreign travelers as of February 9 due to ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak; confirm travel itineraries

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TKM

Event

Turkmenistan has put quarantine measures in place for foreign travelers arriving at airports as of Sunday, February 9, due to the ongoing outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Travelers may be sent to hospitals for mandatory quarantine if they display symptoms of possible exposure and/or travel histories indicating possible exposure to the virus.

French diplomatic officials have warned that foreign travelers to Turkmenistan have been "randomly hospitalized" at their own expense as a result of the quarantine measures and have thus strongly discouraged French citizens from traveling to Turkmenistan.

To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Turkmenistan. 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 (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 28 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 (COVID-19) outbreak is a "public health emergency of international concern."

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

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries and consider rebooking options, if needed, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments. Individuals are 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, wear a face mask
  • Individuals within China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to seek medical attention, avoid contact with other people, and wash hands regularly
  • 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.