Several countries in Southeast Asia report COVID-19 cases since January 2020. Local transmission in some areas. Use basic precautions.
Severity: Informational Alert
The locations affected by this alert are:
- Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala State
- Kochi (Cochin), Kerala State
- Laem Chabang
This alert began 09 Mar 2020 15:40 GMT and is scheduled to expire 09 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Imported cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), local transmission
- Location(s): Southeast Asia (map)
- Period: January-March 2020
Several countries in Southeast Asia have identified imported cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from mainland China, and in some instances, limited human-to-human transmission from those imported cases. As of March 9, the following countries have identified confirmed COVID-19 cases:
Local disease transmission and Imported cases
- Indonesia: 6 cases (4 imported; 2 locally transmitted) cases in Depok, West Java.
- Thailand: 50 cases (39 imported, 11 locally transmitted) in Bangkok and the provinces of Chon Buri and Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Imported cases only
- India: 30 cases.
- Maldives: 4 cases; Lhaviyani (2) and Ari (2) atolls.
- Nepal: One imported case in Kathmandu.
- Sri Lanka: Single imported case in greater Colombo.
Background and Analysis
Older individuals, infants, and those with chronic illness 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. Preliminary investigations indicate the course of illness is not as severe as seasonal influenza, nor as contagious.
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.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Avoid close contact with animals (dead or alive), especially at wet markets. 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.
WHO advice for international travel
WHO coronavirus knowledge base
US CDC: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
WHO: Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19