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12 Mar 2020 | 10:03 AM UTC

Argentina: Government suspends visas for several countries due to COVID-19 March 12 /update 2

Argentine government suspends visas for several countries due to COVID-19 March 12; confirm travel itineraries

entry/exit
health
ARG

Event

On Thursday, March 12, Argentina announced that it would stop issuing visas to travelers from several countries impacted by the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Affected countries include the United States, China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the countries of the Schengen area.

The city government of Buenos Aires announced a ban on large-scale gatherings and public attendance at sporting events on Thursday to prevent further spread of the virus.

To date, there have been more than 20 confirmed cases of the virus in Argentina, including one related fatality. Further international spread of COVID-19 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 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 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.

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 COVID-19 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.