News Alerts

26 Mar 2020 | 12:45 PM UTC

Eswatini: Authorities shut borders, implement nationwide lockdown March 17

Swaziland News Alert

Authorities shut borders, implement nationwide lockdown and domestic travel restrictions March 17; confirm travel itineraries

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/26/2020, 12:00 AM until 4/26/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Mbabane). COUNTRY/REGION Swaziland

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Event

On Tuesday, March 17, authorities announced new measures in an effort to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. The country's borders will be shut to all but goods, cargo, returning citizens, and legal residents effective immediately. Additionally, authorities announced domestic travel restrictions, banning non-essential travel between towns, cities, and regions of the country except for food transportation and medical reasons.

Furthermore, for a 20-day period, all unnecessary movements and visits outside the perimeters of your home are restricted except to provide or acquire essential services or goods.

Finally, public transport will only operate for essential movement, a one meter distance between passenger will be required.

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 (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.

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 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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