What you need to know about traveling during an outbreak of Chinese coronavirus
Since the first cases of Chinese coronavirus have been reported in late December, more than 60 people have been infected and more than 000 have died worldwide. As the virus continues to have a global impact, the U.S. government has issued travel recommendations considering that many flights and cruises have been canceled. Writes about this Travel and Leisure.
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus was first detected in December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The World Health Organization announced on February 12 that the official name for a particular strain of coronavirus is Covid-19.
“Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Among them, there are those that cause disease in humans, and those that spread among animals, including camels, cats, and bats, ”the CDC said in a statement.
Both Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are caused by the coronavirus, but not the strain that is currently circulating.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
The first symptoms of coronavirus are very similar to flu.
“You may have a fever, a cough - this is, above all, a lower respiratory tract virus; general malaise, there may be gastrointestinal upsets, ”says Dr. Rebecca Katz, professor and director of the Center for Global Health and Safety Sciences at Georgetown University.
When complications of the virus occur, patients may develop pneumonia or kidney problems that can lead to death.
What should be done to prevent coronavirus
You can protect yourself from being infected with a coronavirus just as you protect yourself from becoming infected with any other virus. General hygiene practices, including regular hand washing, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, are simple ways to stay healthy. Also avoid close contact with people and crowded places.
When cooking, be sure to carefully process and cook all kinds of meat, as well as eggs.
Which countries are affected by coronavirus
Because the virus has affected the world, experts at Johns Hopkins University have developed real time map to track confirmed cases of coronavirus as it spreads.
China: The vast majority of coronavirus cases occur in mainland China.
34 patients underwent treatment for coronavirus in temporary hospitals that were created to fight the virus. On February 000, China confirmed 13 cases, which is 59 more than the day before. However, 804 patients recovered and were discharged.
Only two deaths occurred outside of mainland China.
The conditions in Wuhan, where the virus was first detected, were compared with a wartime scenario. The city was completely isolated from the rest of China, with reduced transport links. The streets and store shelves are empty, as residents are forced to go out only for basic necessities. Two temporary hospitals were also established to accommodate all patients.
Although museums are closed until further notice, the National Cultural Heritage Administration of China has posted most of its collection online for viewing.
Macau has completely closed for two weeks, and not one of its famous casinos will be open.
The doctor who first discovered this strain of coronavirus and warned the authorities, Li Wenliang, died at the age of 34 from this disease. China has launched an investigation into his death, according to a statement by the Xinhua official agency.
“We express our deepest condolences and sadness, pay tribute to him for the fight on the front lines against the epidemic, and express our sincere sympathy to his family,” the local government said in a statement.
Taiwan: Taiwan will not yet accept citizens of Hong Kong or Macau. The suspension will last as long as required. Those who urgently need to travel to Taiwan must come to the consulate in their city and prove that they have not been to mainland China for the past 14 days. Those who have visited and have already received visas are instructed to independently enter quarantine. Otherwise, those who refuse to do this will be punished with a fine of almost $ 5000. Taiwan also banned all cruise liners from entering ports.
Japan: In Japan, 25 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed. This is the most affected country outside of China. On February 13, the first death was reported - an 80-year-old woman died in Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo. Japan's response to the outbreak of coronavirus was weaker than in other countries. Tokyo imposed a ban on entry only for travelers who have been to Hubei in the past 14 days, or for those who have been issued a passport in Hubei. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was adamant that the outbreak would not affect the start of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer.
Other most affected Asian countries are Singapore, Thailand, and South Korea.
Australia: Authorities have closed borders for foreign arrivals who have been in China for the past 14 days. Australians arriving home from China undergo additional medical examinations. In Australia, 15 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed.
Australia took 243 of its citizens who wanted to leave Wuhan and quarantined them on Christmas Island to the immigration detention center.
U.S.: Since the outbreak in the United States, 15 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed.
Borders have been closed to anyone who has been to China for the past 14 days. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) now requires airlines to ask passengers whether they have visited mainland China in the past 14 days. If so, they will be redirected to check centers at one of several airports in the country, including New York and Los Angeles. If no symptoms are found in the passengers during an extended search, people are released (although they are asked to quarantine independently for 14 days).
More than 600 people who have returned on charter flights from Wuhan remain under federal quarantine at military bases in California, Nebraska and Texas.
How airlines react
Airlines around the world have suspended service on mainland China amid warnings from the World Health Organization.
A Lufthansa Group statement (including Austrian Airlines and SWISS) said they would not accept new orders to China until late February, but airlines would continue to fly to Hong Kong. British Airways has announced an “immediate” suspension of flights to mainland China. Air Canada also temporarily suspended flights to Beijing and Shanghai.
United, American and Delta suspended their services in China, citing low demand.
All airlines will continue to monitor the situation and may change their schedule in case of any changes in the situation in China. Many airlines still operate flights to Hong Kong. Travelers should contact their airline directly for more information.
Airlines also look after their employees. Cathay Pacific flight attendants were first told that they should wear masks at work, and now they have been asked to take a three-week unpaid vacation due to a “significant” drop in flight demand.
Thai Airways takes extraordinary precautions, after each flight the cabin is treated with a disinfectant.
How cruise companies react
At least 61 passengers on a Japanese cruise ship infected with coronavirus.
Ship in italy could not drop off passengers, fearing that two of them got the virus.
The International Cruise Line Association, of which many international cruise lines are members, stated that its members “suspended the crew from mainland China and refused to board anybody, whether a guest or crew who traveled from or through the mainland over the previous 14 days. "
On Friday, February 14, in Bayonne, New Jersey, 20 miles (32 km) from New York, a cruise ship docked with passengers who would be checked for coronavirus.
There are people on the ship who have a history of travel to China, so the CDC and local health officials are going to board the ship when it docked to assess for coronavirus.
Should a trip be canceled due to an outbreak of coronavirus
The U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4 warning (the highest) that Americans are not advised to travel to China. The CDC also issued a warning to refrain from traveling to China. However, this does not apply to Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan.
The Department of State did not issue any travel recommendations for other Asian countries.
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