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24 Feb 2020 | 07:20 PM UTC

Bahrain: Civil aviation authority suspends flights from Dubai and Sharjah February 24-26 /update 2

Aviation authorities temporarily suspend all flights from Dubai and Sharjah airports on February 24-26; confirm travel itineraries

entry/exit
health
transportation
BHR

Event

Representatives of Bahrain's Civil Aviation Affairs announced on Monday, February 24, that it has suspended all flights from Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) for 48 hours. The decision follows concerns in the region over the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and will impact flights until at least Wednesday, February 26. Bahrain's aviation authority also said that it is implementing all the necessary screening measures at Bahrain International Airport (BAH) to prevent the spread of COVID-19; all arrivals to BAH suspected of contracting the virus will be examined, and all arrivals showing symptoms will be transported immediately to designated centers for treatment and isolation.

The Ministry of Health confirmed the second case of COVID-19 in the kingdom on Monday, after a woman tested positive for the virus upon arrival at BAH from Iran via DXB. Her accompanying relatives were subsequently placed in isolation as a precautionary measure after testing negative for the virus. The first confirmed case was also from an individual arriving from Iran.

Further international spread of COVID-19 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 more than 30 countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 outbreak is a "very grave threat."

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

Individuals traveling via BAH are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home government. 

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw tissue away immediately and wash hands
  • If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, individuals are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid potential spread of the disease.