CORONAVIRUS AND TRAVEL: AN UPDATE

Curated by Jennifer Morris, Senior Travel Professional and Owner at Travel Savvy SA. 

 

Clients are advised that most flights are operating as normal and there have been no significant delays or cancellations are a result of the arrival of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) in South Africa. We have been advised by various trade organisations and their representatives that business continues as normal. If people are concerned about travelling at the moment, they are advised to consult the World Health Organisation’s travel advisory pages, and to adhere to the guidelines on how to avoid contracting the virus. Some of these are outlines below.

It is important to remember that, while serious, Covid-19 is not usually fatal to those who contract it. The vast majority of cases are mild and symptoms disappear within 7 to 14 days, much like other similar viruses. In a very small number of cases, the virus has caused pneumonia and this has resulted in the deaths of about 4000 of the 98000 people who have had the disease thus far. Over 75% of all cases have been in China, and only 267 people outside of China have died. The vast majority of people who have died have been elderly or otherwise compromised in their health. While this is a global concern, it is no reason for global panic. The tips for preventing the spread of Covid-19 are the same as the tips for preventing the spread of any other communicable disease, including flu and the common cold:

1) Don’t shake hands

2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. When touching public surfaces, do so through a tissue or other disposable item

3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.

4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.

5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.

6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands.

7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain an infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!

Health advice above adapted from Dr. James Robb, a former professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego.

To check the status of any flights, airlines, tour operators and cruise ships, etc, please email me on jen@travelsavvy.co.za

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