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26 mars 2020 | 05h02 UTC

Bolivia: Government declares national health emergency March 25 /update 5

Bolivia Alerte de sécurité

Bolivia declares national health emergency on March 25 due to COVID-19; further spread of the virus expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 26/3/2020, 12h00 until 24/4/2020, 11h59 (UTC). COUNTRY/REGION Bolivia

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Event

Bolivia's government declared a national health emergency on Wednesday, March 25, due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Interim President Jeanine Áñez said that border closures will be extended to Wednesday, April 15.

Meanwhile, a 14-day mandatory nationwide curfew from Sunday, March 22, until Saturday, April 4, remains in place. All residents are requested to limit non-essential movement, and non-essential businesses have been ordered to close. Pharmacies, hospitals, and health centers will remain open. Authorities have also tightened movement restrictions to allow only one person per household to go out between 07:00 and 12:00 (local time) on weekdays. The government has also cautioned that security forces may be more involved in enforcing quarantine measures. Public and private transportation throughout the country have also been suspended.

Additionally, presidential elections originally slated for May 3 have been postponed; a new date for the vote was not initially announced.

To date, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 39 cases of COVID-19 nationwide. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.

Context

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.

Advice

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 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, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.

 

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