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Coronavirus Travel Advice: Why It Is Okay To Travel Without Fear

     

What is Coronavirus?

There is a lot of information flying around about the newly discovered ‘deadly’ Coronavirus- and one can hardly differentiate between the myths and the facts. What we do know is that there’s no need to panic, for now, except if you’re planning to visit China.

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We actually know quite a bit about the virus in general. They are a large family of viruses, of which some are known for causing the common cold and flu. Normally, they target the upper respiratory tract- the nose, the throat, and cause mild symptoms. But in recent years the virus has shown changes and it’s been targeting lower respiratory tract and causing more serious diseases like severe pneumonia and viral infections.

In early Jan 2020, China and WHO confirmed the identification of a new virus- Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that erupted in Wuhan city of China. And honestly, we don’t know much about this one yet. The common cold is a Coronavirus but so does SARS( Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which caused a global epidemic in 2002-2004 that killed 774 people.

What is currently happening?

The World Health Organization has declared its outbreak as a global health emergency. As of Feb 13, 2020, the WHO reported 60,328 confirmed coronavirus cases and 361 deaths, most of them in China. Infections have also spread to at least 15 other countries, including the United States, Japan, Thailand, and Germany. 3 confirmed cases are found in Kerala as well, which lead to the government declaring it as a state disaster.

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But do you need to be scared?

As of yet, No. Out of the 60,328 confirmed cases, a huge number is from China only, i.e. 59,865. And also, the common Flu has proven to be deadlier than both 2019-nCoV and SARS at this point, so you are good to travel anywhere provided that you take some precautions. It is well-known that restricting travel is not a good way of controlling diseases. Mathematical modeling has shown this. Wuhan is the best example. they are stopping people from leaving Wuhan, but it's probably already too late for that to be effective because the number of people who have left is probably so high already, it makes no difference.

On a personal level what you can do is, avoid traveling to China as it has the most number of cases. As far as other countries are concerned, remember that every nation is on alert, everything is being carefully tracked. Even in India, thermal screening for coronavirus is being conducted strictly in more than 20 airports. So you don’t have to postpone or cancel your travel plans!

Does Travel Insurance Cover The Coronavirus?

As of now, No travel insurance covers the coronavirus except a "cancel for any reason" travel insurance policy which allows you to cancel your vacation because you're afraid of infection. What's best for you is to opt for Go Digit travel insurance. Although they don't cover corona but are still better because they cover adventure sports and activities and provide worldwide support.

What can you do on a personal level?

Experts believe that at this moment the new coronavirus is transmitted in a similar way as the common cold does. Hence, the precautions you take against getting a cold or the flu while traveling should be effective in combating this new disease as well.

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As a traveler, following these simple steps might reduce the risk of coronavirus infection:

- Frequently washing your hands by using alcohol-based hand wash or soap.

- When coughing or sneezing cover your mouth and immediately wash your hands.

- Avoid close contact with anybody that has fever or cough

- Thoroughly cook meat and eggs

- Avoid direct contact with live wild or farm animals.

Other than these, The World Health Organization is continuing to provide updates on how people can protect themselves against the virus.

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