Authorities have imposed stricter movement restrictions with immediate effect in Asunción and Central departments until September 6. According to media sources, the current business and movement restrictions in Alto Paraná department have also been extended through September 6, though some measures have been altered. The decision by the authorities comes after increases in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in these departments. The rest of the country remains under Phase 4 measures of the country's COVID-19 response and recovery plan effective until August 30.
Movement between 20:00 and 05:00 is prohibited for all persons in Asunción and Central departments, except essential and critical sector employees. Travel will be limited on Saturdays and Sundays, with medium and long-distance travel prohibited. According to reports, restaurants are permitted to open between 05:00 and 23:00 Sunday to Thursday, and from 05:00 to 23:59 on Fridays and Saturdays. Nonessential businesses are permitted to operate between 10:00 and 19:00 only. Essential businesses, such as supermarkets, food stores, and pharmacies can continue as normal. Alcohol can be sold until 20:00, except in restaurants.
In Alta Parana, nonessential movement remains restricted with individuals instructed to remain in their homes unless performing essential tasks, such as for food and medicine, between 05:00 and 20:00. Individuals are not permitted to leave their homes from 20:00 unless in emergencies. Nonessential travel into Alto Parana is not permitted. Commercial activity will be permitted between 05:00 and 20:00. Delivery services, call centers, and pharmacies may operate 24 hours. Individual outdoor physical activity is allowed including at gyms and sports centers. Alcohol can be sold until 20:00. Face masks will be mandatory on all public transport. Public officials will operate 08:00 to 15:00 from Mondays to Fridays. Fuel stations can operate between 05:00 and 23:00.
The rest of the country remains under Phase 4 until August 30. Paraguay began easing restrictions from May 4 through a four-phased system. Phase 4 allows social gatherings at homes of no more than ten people and cultural events of up to 20 people, whilst following strict measures. It also permits the hotel sector to reopen, whilst following operating and hygiene protocols. Religious ceremonies may be performed with up to 50 people. Physical exercise and sports activities can take place with up to four people, provided these people train together every time. Face masks are mandatory in all public places and social distancing protocols should be adhered to by all individuals, including at businesses.
International borders remain closed, all commercial passenger flights are suspended until further notice except for repatriation and cargo flights.
As of Monday, August 24, there have been 13,233 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Paraguay and 205 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in 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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
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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