On Friday, April 17, the governor of Yap state, Henry Falan, announced an overnight curfew due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The measure will be in place between 19:00 and 06:00 (local time). Although there have been no confirmed cases in Yap, Falan stated that restrictions were necessary because government requests for the public to stay at home and implement social distancing are not being heeded. Two individuals were isolated in Yap State Hospital following their refusal to self-isolate upon returning from Guam. Although contact tracing is underway, it is not confirmed if the patients have COVID-19.
The government of Micronesia had declared a state of public health emergency on Friday, January 31. Travelers who have transferred through China are barred from entry since Monday, January 6, in addition to those arriving from any country with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
As of April 17, there are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
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) labeled the outbreak as a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble 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.
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 non-essential 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 virus.