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19 Mar 2020 | 10:05 PM UTC

Guyana: Authorities suspends all international flights due to COVID-19 March 18 /update 1

Guyana’s Civil Aviation Authorities suspend all international flights from Cheddi Jagan and Eugene F. Correia international airports due to COVID-19 from March 18; confirm travel itineraries

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GUY

Event

Guyana's Civil Aviation Authority announced on Tuesday, March 17, that the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO) in Timehri and Eugene F. Correia International Airport (OGL) in Ogle will be closed to all international flights for 14 days from midnight (local time), Wednesday, March 18, in order to prevent imported cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Outbound flights for cargo deliveries, medivac, fuel stops, and special authorized flights are exempted from the closure. The Civil Aviation Authority will be monitoring the situation with the Ministry of Public Health to determine if the closure should be extended.

As of Thursday, March 19, authorities confirmed at least five cases of the virus in Guyana, including one fatality. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the coming days and weeks.

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 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.