Authorities on Thursday, October 15, announced that the Friendship Bridge linking Foz do Iguazu with Ciudad del Este, Paraguay has reopened following its closure in March at the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The measure allows for foreign nationals to enter into Brazil, provided they have appropriate documentation for their particular entry into the country. Long queues were formed early in the morning on Thursday in anticipation of the reopening of the bridge, many of whom were returning to work in Paraguay.
The mandatory wearing of face masks remains in place in public areas and on public transport across the country while the use of face masks remains mandatory in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and Brasília in essential commercial establishments, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as on public transport.
Brazilian health authorities have confirmed a total of 5,169,386 cases of COVID-19 and 152,460 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Brazil now has the world's second-highest death toll after the US.
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 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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