On Wednesday, September 30, authorities in Suriname modified restrictions imposed on travel as part of efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Effective immediately, only travelers from the Netherlands and Dutch-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are permitted to enter the country. On arrival travelers must provide a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test and will be required to quarantine for 10 days in a government-approved facility. Authorities have said there will be some leniency on these measures until Sunday, October 4, to accommodate those who have already booked travel but have not had the opportunity to make the relevant arrangements to comply with the requirements. Entry remains prohibited at most other ports of entry, with exceptions for cargo, medical, and repatriation flights. Domestic passenger flights are permitted to operate under strict guidelines.
A nationwide curfew remains in place between 21:00 and 05:00 (local time) until at least October 11. Essential workers, such as medical staff and emergency services personnel, are exempt from the curfew. Face coverings and social distancing of 1.5 metres (5 ft) are mandatory in public and gatherings are limited to ten people. Some businesses have been permitted to reopen under strict operating protocols, although discos, nightclubs, dance halls, and other nightlife establishments remain closed.
Lockdown orders have been issued for the boroughs of Apoera, Kabalebo, Section, and Washabo, until 05:00 on October 13 due to high COVID-19 infection rates. All persons in these areas must remain at home and travel is not permitted into or out of the areas. The government are providing provisions for those under the lockdown measures.
As of Thursday, October 1, Suriname has recorded 4877 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 104 associated deaths. 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). 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 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 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 COVID-19 call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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