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25 Feb 2020 | 05:58 AM UTC

Macao: Authorities cancel flights to South Korea until March 1

Macao authorities cancel flights to South Korea until March 1 due to COVID-19 concerns; confirm travel itineraries

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Event

On Sunday, February 23, Macao announced it would suspend all flights to and from South Korea due to concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19), as reported case numbers continue to increase in South Korea. Flights will reportedly remain suspended until at least Sunday, March 1.

Macao's Health Bureau furthermore implemented medical examinations for those who traveled through South Korea in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Macao.

Further international spread of COVID-19 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 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

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by 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 the tissue away immediately and wash hands
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and your home government.

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 prevent the potential spread of the disease.