Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Paraguay extends quarantine measures and movement restrictions through May 3 to combat the spread of COVID-19. Other restrictions remain.

This alert affects Paraguay

This alert began 01 May 2020 00:51 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 May 2020 08:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 3
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions, increased police presence

President Mario Abdo Benitez announced another extension of the current quarantine measures nationwide through May 3 to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). After May 3, the government will implement a new quarantine regime that loosens some restrictions; the details of the new system have not yet been made public. Until then, all nonessential public movement remains prohibited. Residents may only leave their homes to obtain or provide essential goods such as food and medicine or services such as caring for the sick and elderly. The government will also maintain restrictions on public vehicles according to the last digit on the license plate:

  • Vehicles with license plates ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, 8: Only allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
  • Vehicles with license plates ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, 9: Only allowed on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

The international borders will remain closed, and suspension of all commercial passenger flights at all airports will continue until further notice. Officials will make limited exceptions for repatriation flights. Cargo is still permitted to cross borders.

The measures in place will significantly disrupt business and transport in the country. An increased police presence is highly likely in the streets. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Paraguayan government are similar to those taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. 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 of 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. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

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.

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