BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - WITH Europe now being described as the epicenter of the Cornavirus, local health officials have updated travel restrictions, and the United Kingdom has been placed on the list of ban countries.
A media statement from the Ministry of Health said that in the interest of protecting the borders and the health and wellness of citizens and residents, it has revised its travel advisory in response to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus,
The updated list now includes the United Kingdom (UK), France, Germany and Spain; joining the likes of China, Italy, Iran, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Japan.
All of the new additions have seen significant spread of the virus. In the case of the United Kingdom, all of the territories in the CARICOM region with the exception of Guayana, would have seen imported cases originating from that jurisdiction.
In Georgetown, that country recorded its first case when an elderly woman returned from a trip to New York. She subsequently died due to her underly conditions - hypertension and diabete, according to media reports.
Meanwhile, in Basseterre, the government said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the virus a pandemic; and that several CARICOM Member States have reported cases – all of which have been imported into the region - hence the measures implemented.
The government has advised people not to travel from those destinations to St. Kitts and Nevis, likewise citizens and residents not to travel to those countries.
In the event that travellers arrive in the Federation, they will be subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period following screening at the port of entry. Such quarantine of passengers means that their movements will be confined to a designated facility, the government noted.
As of yesterday (Mar. 14), when the statement was issued, the Ministry of Health noted that there were no confirmed cases of the virus.
Against that backdrop, the Government advised citizens and residents “to remain calm and to follow all of the advisories” issued regarding hand hygiene, social distancing, and general infection control and prevention.
As of press time Sunday, the virus has killed at least 5,800 people with another 153,000 confirmed cases around the world.