On Tuesday, April 21, Paraguayan authorities announced the extension of border closures until Sunday, April 26, due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Under the measure, 13 immigration control posts will remain open to allow for commercial trade and for the departure of foreign nationals and Paraguayan nationals who reside in other countries. During the border closure, nationals returning to Paraguay will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Border closures may continue to be extended over the coming weeks
Nationwide total quarantine measures are also in effect until April 26. There are exceptions allowing people to buy food, go to the pharmacy or hospital, and for key workers. The following restrictions will apply to necessary travel to obtain food, medical care, or cleaning supplies: vehicles with odd-numbered license plates may only travel on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, while vehicles with even-numbered license plates may only travel on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
As of Tuesday, April 21, there are 208 COVID-19 cases in Paraguay, including eight fatalities. 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 (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 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.
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 non-essential 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 general risk of transmission, individuals are advised to abide 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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