On 30th January 2020, the coronavirus outbreak was declared an international emergency by the World Health Organisation((WHO). While there is no vaccine to inoculate people against the virus, many travellers are left wondering whether it’s safe still safe to travel. Travel restrictions have been in place in the Chinese city of Wuhan and other cities in Hubei Province. A travel advisory has also been announced in regards to the health safety for travelling to the rest of mainland China, Macao and Hong Kong.
1. Have travel medical coverage
If your current health insurance plan does not cover your medical expenses when you are travelling overseas, it is necessary to get yourself travel medical coverage in case you have to visit a medical facility for severe health symptoms. If you’re hospitalised, then you could end up paying a huge medical bill without travel medical insurance to cover up the cost. You can get your own travel medical coverage for your trip with a package plan that comes with trip cancellation, or you can purchase a travel medical plan without cancellation coverage. Knowing you can get medical treatment without spending a huge sum of money is worth the minor expense you’ll pay for the travel insurance plan.
2. Finding out where to get your medical care on your trip
Conduct some early research when you are planning your trip and know how to find nearby medical care during your travel. You can find guidelines in most travel guide books with information about where and how to find medical facilities. Your travel insurance provider may also provide you with a pre-trip planning that can help you find the necessary medical care if you require it.
3. Bring your own blanket and pillow
Most airlines do not provide a blanket and pillow, even if they do, it may not be hygienic from the traveller using it before you. It would be better to bring your own travel pillow and blanket instead especially if you are taking a long flight.
4. Bring your own antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer
Touching on doorknobs, faucet handles, and handrails are primary ways for bacteria and viruses to transmit. While you are travelling, be wary of the spread of germs and viruses. Always wipe your hands after touching. Using alcohol-based hand rub, soap and water work as well for cleaning your hands. If you’re coughing and sneezing, always cover your mouth and nose with your hands or tissue.
5. Which countries have Coronavirus?
As of 6th February 2020, the list of affected countries and confirmed number of diagnoses are:
Mainland China: 28,023 cases
Japan: 45 cases
Thailand: 25 cases
Singapore: 28 cases
South Korea: 23 cases
Australia: 14 cases
Germany: 12 cases
Malaysia: 12 cases
United States: 12 cases
Vietnam: 10 cases
France: 6 cases
UAE: 5 cases
Canada: 5 cases
England: 2 cases
Russia: 2 cases
Philippines: 3 cases
India: 3 cases
Italy: 2 cases
Nepal: 1 case
Cambodia: 1 case
Sri Lanka: 1 case
Finland: 1 case
Sweden: 1 case
Spain: 1 case
Belgium: 1 case
6. Stay healthy during the virus outbreak
With the rise of number of confirmed cases daily, here are some essential advice on how to stay healthy when travelling overseas:
- if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, immediately seek medical care and share previous travel history with your healthcare provider.
- avoid as much close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough.
- when visiting public places such as live markets, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.
- avoid or reduce the consumption of raw or undercooked animal products. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid any cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
- sanitize your electronic devices by using alcohol swabs to clean the surfaces of your device.
7. What countries are doing to prevent the outbreak?
Countries from around the world are implementing precautionary methods such as checking the temperatures of airline passengers and quarantine procedures in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Some of the public health measures are acting swiftly to prevent the virus outbreak from getting worse.
8. If you get sick overseas
If you are feeling unwell while travelling, you’ll need to get a medical checkup immediately from a local doctor. If you require a specialist, you may need to check in with a general practitioner first for a referral. Reach out to your travel insurer as well so that they can help you arrange medical treatment, and could provide you with a list of preferred doctors and hospitals to consider. If you have fever or symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and runny nose, get yourself checked up at a local clinic instead if it’s due to influenza or the common cold. Call ahead and explain your travel history to your doctor if you suspect you do have the coronavirus.
What other safety travel tips you think it’s important during an virus outbreak? Leave us your thoughts on the comment sections below. Head over to Jobstore.com and unveil your next job opportunity.