Vila Times

Vanuatu currently has no suspected or confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Vanuatu currently has no suspected or confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Vanuatu currently has no suspected or confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
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The Ministry of Health Taskforce is continuing to closely monitor the emerging situation around the outbreak of 2019-nCoV in close collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other partners. This is a fast-evolving situation and the Ministry of Health Taskforce will issue further communiques as a new information as necessary.
At present there are no suspected or confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in Vanuatu, nor in any other Pacific Island country. Should a case be detected, the Ministry of Health Emergency Medical Team, are on standby with a dedicated quarantine facility and a thorough response plan is ready to be used should it be required.
All cross-border government agencies and state-owned enterprises operating within Vanuatu’s international port of entries (seaports and airports) have been advised about the current World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern for 2019-nCoV on 31st January 2020. The WHO continues to advice against the application of any restrictions of international traffic based on the information currently available on this event.
In response to WHO’s declaration, the Ministry of Health and the 2010-nCoV Task Force are stepping up the current surveillance program for 2019-nCoV in Vanuatu. Enhanced surveillance response measures are now in effect, as follows:
1. Pre-arrival Surveillance Measures (craft entering Vanuatu)
1.1 Airlines
All flight attendants on board all foreign going aircraft have been advised to report any symptoms or signs of flu, running nose, fever, headache, chest pain, difficulty in breathing, to ground staff at the airport terminal, when detected during flights.
All air travellers of any nationality coming into Vanuatu who have travelled to or otherwise been to any province or city in China since 31 December 2019 MUST undertake a medical examination, and MUST obtain and provide a Medical Certificate that certifies that they are free from 2019-nCoV prior to boarding. The medical Certificate MUST be obtained from a registered medical practitioner. Air travellers who do not present a valid Medical Certificate will be prevented from boarding an aircraft to Vanuatu.
All air travellers on inbound flights MUST complete an Incoming Passenger Health Declaration form that details their travel over the preceding 14 days, their current health status, phone number, email address and address while visiting or residing in Vanuatu. Air travellers who do not present a completed Incoming Passenger Health Declaration form will not be permitted to enter Vanuatu and will be returned to their port of origin on the next available flight, at their own expense.

1.2 Shipping
The Master and Captain of all foreign going vessels coming into Vanuatu MUST provide the following documentations to the Health Surveillance Team within 24 hours prior to arrival:
a) Voyage Memo (outlining all ports visited during the past 14 days)
b) Maritime Health Declaration (certifying health condition of crews and captain on board)
c) Vaccination Surveillance Team will provide clearance to all incoming vessels, prior to berthing alongside the sea port.

2. Actual Arrival Measures
2.2 Airports
– Health Officials are stationed at the airside (both at Port Vila International Airport and Santo International Airport), and are screening all incoming passengers and crew for 2019-nCoV signs and symptoms.
– All detected signs and symptoms are referred for further medical attention by registered medical practitioners.
– Any suspected passenger will be denied entry into Vanuatu, and will be immediately isolated for further medical assessment and will be returned to their port of origin on the next available flight, at their own expense.
– All passengers cleared for entry will be monitored for the duration of the 14 day incubation period.

2.3 Sea Ports
– All Health Officials are stationed at all international seaports during arrival of vessels (Port Vila and Luganville) and are screening all incoming passengers and crew for 2019-nCoV signs and symptoms.
– All detected signs and symptoms are referred for further medical attention by registered medical practitioners.
– Any detected passenger will be denied entry into Vanuatu and will be immediately isolated for further medical assessment.
– All passengers cleared for entry will be monitored for the duration of the 14 day incubation period.
3. Post Arrival Measure

3.2 Private dwellings (Private homes)
– All arriving passengers records are kept and monitored under the Health database monitoring system.]
– Continuous contact tracing of travellers until 14 days lapses, or the passenger departs Vanuatu.
3.2 Public (Hotels and Resorts)
– All arriving passengers residing in hotels and resorts will also be monitored and kept under surveillance during 14 day incubation period after arrival by the Ministry of Health Surveillance Unit.

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
At this time, the Ministry of Health recommends that all travellers (both citizens and non-citizens) avoid all travel to China until further notice.
The Ministry of Health strongly emphasises the need for all travellers and the general public to observe the following hygiene practices:
. Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections;
. Frequently wash hands with soaps and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment.
. Cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow.
. Avoiding unprotected contact with farm or wild animals.

If you become unwell:
In case of symptoms of respiratory illness or infection (fever, cough and breathing difficulties) either during or after travel to an affected area, travellers are encouraged to seek medical advice and isolate themselves to prevent the potential for spreading any infection. Anyone with flu-like symptoms persisting over a week and/or if the condition worsens, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain or worsening of chronic medical condition, MUST seek medical attention.

Vila Central Hospital – 22100 or 112 (Emergency) – Dr. Vincent Atua Mobile: 678 7716135
Health Surveillance Monitoring – Mr. Vanua Sikon Mobile: 678 5724903

There is no specific treatment for people who are sick with 2019-nCoV. Treatment includes isolation as a precaution, and supportive medical care for those who experience symptoms.

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