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12 Apr 2020 | 09:42 PM UTC

Mauritius: Nationwide lockdown extended to May 4 /update 4

Mauritius extends ongoing nationwide lockdown to May 4 to curb spread of COVID-19; abide by all government directives

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Event

On Friday, April 10, the Mauritian government extended an ongoing nationwide lockdown to Monday, May 4, to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The measure was earlier announced on Monday, March 23, and originally due to expire on Wednesday, April 15. Separately, the lockdowns in Rodrigues and Agalega islands will end on Wednesday, April 15, but educational institutions will continue to remain closed. All activities are prohibited under the lockdown, while only essential services, such as police, hospitals, pharmacies, and banks will remain open. Supermarkets and retailers have reopened on Thursday, April 2, and only one person per family is permitted to shop for 30 minutes. Shopping time slots have been allocated according to surnames and it is mandatory to wear a face mask while shopping.

Meanwhile, all individuals, including Mauritian nationals, have been prohibited from entering the country through Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU) from Thursday, March 19. All cruise ships have similarly been denied access to the country's port. 

As of Sunday, April 12, authorities have confirmed 324 cases of COVID-19 nationwide, including nine fatalities and 42 recoveries. 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) declared the global outbreak 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 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.