Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Slovakia close all airports, suspend all incoming travel for non-residents from March 13, and close schools and universities.

This alert affects Slovakia

This alert began 12 Mar 2020 20:23 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Preventative restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Date: Indefinite
  • Impact: International transport restrictions, business disruptions, limited services

Summary
Officials in Slovakia have ordered the closures of all airports in the country for passenger travel from March 13; freight and private planes will not be affected. Authorities have additionally suspended all international travel to the country for nonresidents; all Slovak citizens returning from abroad will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine. Any end date for these measures remains unclear. Authorities will also close all school and universities for 14 days starting March 16. Authorities also plan to close sport, leisure, and entertainment venues, and will close all shopping centers the weekend of March 14.

Authorities may further increase restrictions throughout Slovakia in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.

Older individuals, infants, and those with chronic illnesses are more susceptible to infection and are at increased risk for severe complications. Human-to-human transmission can occur, though it remains unclear how easily the virus spreads between people.

Advice
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO coronavirus knowledge base