Coronavirus continues to spread- travellers advised to rethink travel plans

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread at an alarming speed with 113,672 confirmed cases, 4,012 deaths reported in 110 countries, areas or territories. A sizable portion of these cases are present in China: 80924 cases, Italy: 9172 cases, Republic of Korea: 7513 cases, Iran: 7161 cases, France: 1412 cases, Germany: 1139 cases and Spain which recorded 1024 cases. The top at-risk countries China and Italy are under complete quarantine with its citizens advised to stay at home, and not venture out in public unless there is a government-approved permit allowing one to do so. 

map of coronavirus spread

Source- World Health Organisation

Coronavirus is a clear threat to the health of citizens worldwide, with all nations encouraging their citizens to rethink their travel plans. We encourage you to do so as travelling amidst an environment that might be host to COVID-19 can put you and everyone you come into contact with at risk. 

What are the symptoms?

Fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. About 80% of those who contract this virus recover naturally, whereas the rest might develop complications with breathing.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness

What is the incubation period?

This is a term given to the time frame in which you can catch the virus and start displaying its symptoms. The period ranges from 1-14 days with 5 being the most common.  

How to prevent infection from Coronavirus?

1. Wash your hands frequently- Make sure to clean your hands regularly and thoroughly with an alcohol-based hand rub. If one cannot be found use soap and water. Doing so allows you to kill the viruses that you might have contracted from infected surfaces and prevents you from spreading it any further. 

2. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth- The hands touch many surfaces a day and can easily be means of transmitting the virus to you if they come into contact with your eyes, nose or mouth. This is why the public is urged to wash their hands as regularly as possible.

3. Practice respiratory hygiene- Make sure that either you or anyone near you when coughing does so into a tissue or their elbow. Dispose of the tissue used in this purpose as soon as you can into a bin. We also encourage you to wear disposable masks when venturing out with a cough or sneezing.

4. Maintain social distances- If there is someone coughing or sneezing, you are urged to move away and keep a distance of at least 1 metre from them. This is as sneezing or coughing can have the infected person spraying small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. 

Story last updated on 10.03.2020. Await developments.