The government of Suriname announced that a nationwide lockdown will be in place from 18:00 (local time) on Thursday, June 4, until 06:00 on Friday, June 12, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Residents are being urged to stay at home and only go out for essential purposes, such as food shopping, medical needs, or essential work. Supermarkets, bakeries, food stalls, and petrol stations will be permitted to open between 08:00 and 17:00. Restaurants and pharmacies will offer collection services only and nightclubs and casinos will remain closed. Private vehicles are only permitted to have two occupants and taxis can only carry two passengers. Gatherings of more than five people are prohibited.
Suriname has closed all international borders, including ferry services to Guyana. Road and air travel has also been stopped to the eastern part of the country, including the closure of the East-West Connecting Road from Stolkersijver.
As of June 4, Suriname has recorded 74 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with one associated death. 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.
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 risk of COVID-19 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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