News Alerts

28 Jan 2020 | 12:09 PM UTC

Kazakhstan: Suspension of visas upon arrival for Chinese nationals January 28

Kazakhstan News Alert

Officials suspend visas upon arrival for Chinese citizens January 28; further spread of the illness likely over the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 1/28/2020, 12:00 AM until 2/28/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Bishkek). COUNTRY/REGION Kazakhstan

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Event

On Tuesday, January 28, Kazakhstan's foreign minister announced the suspension of the visa upon arrival program for Chinese citizens until further notice. The 72-hour visa-free policy for transit passengers will also be suspended, while all travelers arriving from China will receive medical attention. The decision was made in order to help limit the spread of the ongoing coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak that originated in Wuhan (Hubei province). To date, no confirmed cases have been reported in Kazakhstan, though four suspected cases have been recorded and the patients are currently hospitalized.

Further spread of the illness is to be expected over the near term. 

Context

The first case of 2019-nCoV was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan. 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. At least 106 people have died in China, and an estimated 4600 cases have been confirmed worldwide.

The World Health Organization (WHO) held an emergency panel in Geneva (Switzerland) on January 23 to discuss the virus, ultimately deciding that it was too early to classify the outbreak as a "public health emergency of international concern." As of January 28, cases of the virus have been confirmed in Australia, Canada, Cambodia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and the US.

Virus screening measures are being implemented at airports worldwide. 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 who plan to travel to or have recently returned from China, particularly Hubei province, are advised to monitor the situation and anticipate additional security checks at the airport. Individuals are advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus:  

  • Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold
  • Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)
  • Frequently wash hands and wear a face mask
  • Individuals within China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to seek medical attention, avoid contact with other people, and wash hands regularly
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments
  • Travelers returning from China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid spread of the disease.

 

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