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11 août 2020 | 11h21 UTC

Bhutan: Authorities impose nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 August 11 /update 1

Bhutan Alerte de sécurité

Bhutan authorities announce nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 on August 11; abide by government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/8/2020, 12h00 until 25/8/2020, 11h59 (Asia/Thimphu). COUNTRY/REGION Bhutan

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Event

Bhutan authorities imposed a nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, August 11, following an imported case of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The woman, who returned to the country from Kuwait, was reportedly initially discharged from quarantine after testing negative, but later tested positive for the virus on Monday. All schools, government institutions, offices, and commercial establishments will remain closed until further notice and exams will be postponed. The government has advised everyone to stay at home to curb further spread of the disease.

Bhutan's borders remain closed, including the international airport at Paro. Repatriation flights for stranded nationals have been authorized. However, returning citizens will have to enter a three-week mandatory quarantine.

As of August 11, there have been 113 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, and no associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is 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). 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.

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 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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