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21 Feb 2020 | 09:33 AM UTC

Armenia: Coronavirus screening measures implemented as of February 20

Ministry of Healthcare implements heightened screening measures at border crossings from Iran to detect possible coronavirus (COVID-19) cases as of February 20; delays possible at border crossings

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ARM

Event

Armenia's Ministry of Healthcare implemented heightened screening measures at the Meghri Border Crossing Point on Thursday, February 20, to prevent further spread of the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Neighboring Iran has reported 18 cases of the virus, including multiple fatalities, in recent days.

As of Friday, February 21, there have been no confirmed cases of the virus in Armenia.

Further international spread of COVID-19 is possible 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 (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 31 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 in Armenia are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate possible travel delays, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

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, travelers 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.