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21 Feb 2020 | 09:49 AM UTC

Kyrgyzstan: Government to suspend visas for Chinese nationals February 21 /update 1

Kyrgyzstan suspends issuance of new visas for Chinese nationals February 21; confirm travel itineraries

entry/exit
health
transportation
KGZ

Event

The foreign ministry announced on Friday, February 21, that it would suspend the issuance of new visas to Chinese nationals due to health concerns related to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The policy will reportedly be reviewed at an unspecified later date.

As of Friday, there have been no confirmed cases of the virus in Kyrgyzstan.

Further international spread of the COVID-19 virus 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 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

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

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.