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04 Apr 2020 | 03:35 PM UTC

Nicaragua: Domestic airlines closing, suspending flights over COVID-19 as of reports on April 4 /update 2

Reports of many Nicaraguan airlines closing and suspending flights due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of reports on April 4; further international spread of COVID-19 to be expected over the near term

health
transportation
NIC

Event

As of Saturday, April 4, media reports state that many airlines in Nicaragua have closed operations or suspended their flights indefinitely due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Reports state that very few commercial operations are still running. Few restrictions have been implemented in the country as of April 4, and gatherings have not been limited.

As of April 4, five cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Nicaragua, as well as one associated death. The Nicaraguan government confirmed the first COVID-19 death in the country on Thursday, March 26. The individual who died of COVID-19 reportedly had a history of preexisting conditions, including diabetes, and was a carrier of HIV.

The implementation of travel restrictions cannot be ruled out over the coming weeks. Further international spread of COVID-19 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) 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.