How has the Coronavirus affected travel?
As per the predictions collected from multiple sources, the travel and tourism industry was expected to be booming. Growth of three to four per cent in international tourist arrivals for 2020 was also predicted by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. However, these predictions seem to have been in vain given the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
What started in China’s Hubei province of Wuhan, has spread to more than 208 countries in the world, worsening the situation. The outbreak of the virus has impacted the travel industry to a great extent. The effects on travel to and from China have been devastating with all flights (to and from there) being cancelled. Other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Singapore, Korea and more have also seen some positive cases, which has further led to a decline in tourism.
What do the stats say?
The virus was first reported in Wuhan, China in the year 2019 and was named as Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The number of confirmed cases in China this year is more than 82,000 as per the information by WHO. The saddening news of over 4,600 deaths in China alone, has also been confirmed.
The number of Coronavirus cases in Asia ((*As of March 16th, 2020 (per WHO report)):
|Country affected||No of confirmed cases of Coronavirus||No of deaths|
What do we have to say about Coronavirus?
Destinations like Mauritius, Greece, Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan which earlier reported no active cases of COVID-19, are now grappling with the deadly outbreak. Thus, making travel plans for these destinations will not be a good idea.
So, how should you protect yourself?
This family of Coronavirus is capable of causing diseases ranging from the common cold to the Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The symptoms reported include fever, difficulty in breathing, uneasiness, cough etc. In case you observe any of these symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately.
Basic protective measures against the virus include:
- Frequently washing your hands using soap and water.
- Respiratory hygiene practices like covering your mouth while sneezing and/or coughing must be followed.
- Maintaining adequate distance from people in social gatherings or from people who might appear sick.
- Avoid touching your face, mouth or eyes with unwashed hands.
- Seek immediate medical attention given any symptoms like fever, cough and cold.
- Conducting exit screenings at airports and ports in the affected regions should be a quintessential part of your international travel for early detection of symptoms if any.
Some myths that Must be busted!
We are busting some common myths revolving around in view of the outbreak as below:
- Is garlic effective in preventing viral infection by the Coronavirus?
Though garlic is known for its antimicrobial benefits, there is no medical evidence that proves that garlic helps prevent getting affected by Coronavirus.
- Can packages from China carry Coronavirus and is it okay to receive them?
The virus is pretty contagious but it has been observed that it does not sustain for long on lifeless objects. Thus, it is okay to receive packages or letters from China and the same won’t increase the possibility of getting affected by it.
- Can Coronavirus spread through pets?
There has been no evidence as of now that your pet dog or cat might be a reason for you to catch the virus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands effectively using soap and water after making contact with the pets.
Stay Safe, Stay Informed, Stay Healthy!