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13 Mar 2020 | 11:15 PM UTC

Suriname: Vice President announces nationwide entry and exit ban March 13 /update 1

Vice President Michael Ashwin Adhin suspends flights and closes all borders as first COVID-19 case is confirmed on March 13; confirm travel itineraries

entry/exit
health
transportation
SUR

Event

Vice President Michael Ashwin Adhin reportedly announced to the National Assembly on Friday, March 13, that all airports and all ports of entry nationwide will close from 00:00 (local time) on Saturday, March 14, to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The entry and exit ban is expected to impact both foreign nationals and Suriname nationals and residents. The decision follows the announcement of the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Suriname. The individual had recently traveled to the country from the Netherlands. 

Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over 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 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.

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

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.