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26 Mar 2020 | 06:15 AM UTC

Eritrea: Authorities ban commercial flights as of March 26 /update 2

Authorities ban commercial passenger flights as of March 26 due to COVID-19; confirm itineraries

entry/exit
health
transportation
ERI

Event

On Wednesday, March 25, authorities announced the temporary ban of all commercial passenger flights to and from Eritrea as of Thursday, March 26, in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This comes after three Eritrean nationals traveling back from Dubai were tested positive for the virus upon arrival on Saturday, March 23. The ban will remain in effect for two weeks before being reviewed for prolongation.

As of March 26, there are four confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide. Further international spread of the virus is expected.

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 (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 non-essential 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.