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08 Apr 2020 | 07:12 AM UTC

El Salvador: Nationwide quarantine extended through April 19 /update 10

President Bukele extends nationwide COVID-19 quarantine to April 19; follow authority directives

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Event

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele extended the ongoing nationwide coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine for an additional two weeks, until Sunday, April 19. All policies remain in place through this period: only one person per household is permitted to go out for shopping. Public spaces are to close with the exception of grocery stores, banks, and health services. Several essential professions are exempt from the lockdown, including doctors, public servants, the military, police, and restaurant workers, among others.

As of Wednesday, April 8, there are 93 confirmed COVID-19 cases including five deaths and nine recoveries. 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 (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 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 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.