Trinidad and Tobago's (TT) Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh announced on Thursday, January 30, that all foreign nationals traveling from or transiting through mainland China will be temporarily banned from entering TT effective immediately to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. TT nationals and permanent residents returning from China will not be allowed to enter the country for 14 days - the virus' maximum incubation period - after leaving China.
Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the coming days and weeks.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in more than 20 countries and territories worldwide. Human-to-human transmission has been confirmed in Germany, Japan, the US, and Vietnam. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the ongoing novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak is a "public health emergency of international concern."
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.
Individuals traveling to TT are advised to confirm flight reservations, keep abreast of the situation, and contact their nearest embassy for further details. Individuals are advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus:
- Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold
- Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)
- Frequently wash hands and wear a face mask
- Adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments
- Travelers returning from China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid spreading the disease.
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