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19 Mar 2020 | 09:41 PM UTC

Mayotte: Authorities confirm fourth case of COVID-19 March 19

Mayotte’s Regional Health Agency confirms fourth case of coronavirus on March 19 and bans recreational travel from March 20; further spread of the virus expected

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MYT

Event

Mayotte's Regional Health Agency confirmed a fourth case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country on Thursday, March 19. The individual had recently traveled and is currently in self-isolation at home.

To prevent further spread of COVID-19, all travel into Mayotte for tourism and family visits will be prohibited from Friday, March 20. Only essential travel for selected individuals, such as residents returning home, professionals from essential services, and patients with health conditions will be allowed entry. Authorities have advised all travelers arriving from mainland France or areas affected by COVID-19 to self-isolate at home for 14 days and avoid contact with others. In addition, the government has urged the public to observe good personal hygiene, such as regular hand washing.

Individuals who develop respiratory symptoms, such as cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, within 14 days of arrival into Mayotte are advised not to visit the doctor or emergency room directly, but to contact the SAMU (French Emergency Medical Services) immediately by dialing 15.

Further international spread of the virus is 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.