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26 Feb 2020 | 08:15 AM UTC

Kazakhstan: Authorities suspend flights to and from Iran to contain COVID-19 outbreak effective March 1 /update 3

Authorities announce flights to and from Iran will be suspended, and flights to and from South Korea reduced to contain COVID-19 outbreak effective March 1; follow authority directives

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KAZ

Event

On Wednesday, February 26, Kazakh authorities announced that flights to and from Iran will be suspended in efforts to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak effective Sunday, March 1. They also announced that flights to and from South Korea would be reduced.

Additional quarantine measures and other entry restrictions may be implemented over the coming days and weeks. As of Wednesday, no cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Kazakhstan. Further international spread of the virus is 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 more than 30 countries and territories worldwide. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 outbreak is a "very grave threat."

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

Individuals traveling to Kazakhstan are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home government.

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw tissue away immediately and wash hands
  • If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, travelers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid potential spread of the disease.