Botswana has advised its citizens who intend to travel to China and other Asian countries to consider rescheduling their trips if possible following an outbreak of Coronavirus. Health ministry permanent secretary Solomon Sekwakwa said anyone travelling to areas currently experiencing cases of the virus are advised not to visit live animal markets, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.
“The ministry is intensifying preparedness measures, including surveillance, alertness at the districts and ports of entry and continues to monitor the situation in close consultation with World Health Organisation (WHO) and will keep the public updated,” said Sekwakwa. The first cases reported in early January were linked to a seafood and live animal market in Wuhan City in China’s Hubei Province. More than 280 laboratory confirmed cases of Coronavirus have been reported in four Asian countries: China (278 cases), Thailand (2 cases), Japan (1 case) and the Republic of Korea (1 case), with 6 deaths reported to WHO.
Coronavirus is mostly transmitted from animal to person (zoonotic) although experts have warned that a number of recent cases have been caused by human-to-human contact.
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