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24 Mar 2020 | 03:14 AM UTC

Burundi: International flights at Melchior Ndadaye Airport suspended from March 22 /update 1

Burundi News Alert

Burundi suspends all international flights at Melchior Ndadaye International Airport (BJM) due to COVID-19 from March 22; confirm travel itineraries

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/24/2020, 12:00 AM until 4/23/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Bujumbura). COUNTRY/REGION Burundi

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On Saturday, March 21, the Burundi government announced that all international commercial flights at Melchior Ndadaye International Airport (BJM), except for cargo, medical evacuation, humanitarian, and diplomatic flights, will be suspended for seven days from 21:59 (local time) on Sunday, March 22, due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Meanwhile, a suspension on all visa applications remains in place as of Thursday, March 19, until further notice. The government will only renew visas for individuals already in the country. Additional screening and quarantine measures are also in effect at all points of entry as of Friday, March 20. Anyone arriving from a country affected by the virus will be placed in compulsory quarantine for 14 days.

As of Tuesday, March 24, there have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.


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 March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble 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.


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 nonessential 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.


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