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09 Apr 2020 | 07:56 AM UTC

Paraguay: Nationwide quarantine extended through April 19 /update 4

Paraguayan authorities extend nationwide COVID-19 quarantine through April 19; follow authority directives

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Event

President Mario Abdo Benitez announced an extension to Paraguay's total quarantine measures until Sunday, April 19, to prevent further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The lockdown was initially announced on Friday, March 20. All movement of vehicles and people will be restricted from 20:00 to 04:00 (local time), and the public has been instructed to stay at home. All social gatherings and work remain suspended. The measures will not apply for individuals providing essential goods and services from the food, pharmaceutical, financial, and public sectors.

Asunción remains sealed through at least Sunday, April 12, prohibiting the entry and exit of people and vehicles. All public transportation is suspended.

On Wednesday, March 18, the Paraguayan government declared a State of Sanitary Emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Meanwhile, a suspension on all international flights into and out of the country remains in place since Sunday, March 22, for 30 days. The ban does not apply to cargo or domestic flights. Officials also previously announced the suspension of public events and school sessions on Tuesday, March 10.

As of Thursday, April 9, there are 124 COVID-19 cases in Paraguay, including five fatalities and 18 recoveries. Further international spread of the virus 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 (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 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 general risk of transmission, individuals are advised to abide 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.