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21 Feb 2020 | 09:43 PM UTC

Brazil: Coronavirus quarantine measures expanded February 21

Ministry of Health expands quarantine measures for travelers showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) on February 21



Brazil’s Ministry of Health announced on Friday, February 21, that it has expanded quarantine measures for travelers arriving from several Asian countries showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). Travelers arriving from China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia showing signs of COVID-19 will be placed under quarantine until they are confirmed to be free of the virus. According to health officials, the quarantine measures were expanded due to the increasing number of cases in Asia outside of China.

As of Friday, no cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Brazil. Further international spread of COVID-19 is to be expected over the coming days and weeks.


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 31 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.


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, individuals 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.