News Alerts

29 Feb 2020 | 02:07 AM UTC

Fiji: Government issues COVID-19 travel restrictions February 27

Fiji News Alert

Government announces entry ban for Iranian, Italian, and South Korean nationals, and screening measures from February 27, due to COVID-19; confirm travel itineraries

TIMEFRAME expected from 2/27/2020, 12:00 AM until 3/27/2020, 11:59 PM (Pacific/Fiji). COUNTRY/REGION Fiji

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Event

The Fijian Government announced on Thursday, February 27, that it has expanded its entry ban in the effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). From Friday, February 28, individuals that have traveled from or through Italy, Iran, or Cheongdo province and Daegu (South Korea), in the 14 days prior to arrival in Fiji will not be allowed entry. This is in addition to a pre-existing entry ban for travelers from mainland China.

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama announced that from Friday, all cruise ships entering Fiji will first be required to berth at ports in Suva or Lautoka, where passengers on board will be subject to medical and travel history checks. Moreover, from Monday, March 2, officials will also begin screening all international air passengers.

As of Thursday, officials announced that there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Fiji. Further international spread of the virus is expected in 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 numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the risk of spread and the risk of impact of the virus is "'very high' at global level."

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, travelers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran 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.

 

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