The latest report from the World Health Organization (WHO) from Saturday, 22 February stated that globally there are 77.794 cases of COVID-19 or coronavirus has been confirmed. Most of the cases are from China and about 1.402 cases are spread around 28 countries around the world. Death toll globally is around 2.348 patients.
WHO also stated that the risks are high both globally and regionally. What’s more, the understanding of transmission patterns, severity and risks factor for COVID-19 are limited among the general population, health worker, and in other ‘closed’ settings.
Governments from all around the world such as South Korea are placing a high alert on Sunday, 23 February. Schools and other public places are on temporary closure to help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission. South Korea alone reported that there are 602 cases with five people who have been confirmed dead.
Iran Health ministry also announced that there are 43 cases of COVID-19 with six people dead. Universities, schools, and other public places are closed until further notice. The European nation also pledged 230 million euros to fight the dreaded virus outbreak.
Traveling at these times is risky. Many governments are canceling flights from and into the country because of this. However, if you have to travel abroad, you need to practice caution to avoid this mess.
WHO currently does not recommend any specific health measures for travelers. However, you can protect yourself using some common sense and practice caution when abroad. What should you do to protect yourself from COVID -19 or coronavirus? Here are 5 things you should do before taking any trip abroad.
1. Avoid direct contact with people suffering from respiratory problems.
If you have to take public transportation, avoid people that look that they have a respiratory problem. To protect yourself wear a mask when outside. There are proper procedures on how to use a mask. First, before putting a mask, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. Cover your mouth and nose and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask. WHO recommends the usage of a mask with frequent hand washing.
2. Researching the nearest healthcare provider at the destinations.
Before taking flight, please research the nearest healthcare provider such as hospitals or clinics to your destinations. In case anything happens, you can have a reference on where to go. Contact your healthcare insurance provider for more information on this matter.
3. Practice proper cough etiquette.
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Coughing or sneezing are unavoidable when you are traveling to a colder climate. To avoid the transmission of coronavirus, you need to practice proper cough practices. First, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Properly dispose of the used tissue on waste bin. If you don’t have a tissue, use your upper sleeves, not your hand. When you can, wash your hand with soap and water and keep it clean to avoid the spreading of germs.
4. Frequently wash your hands after doing any activities.
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Washing hands is your foremost defense that you can easily practice to avoid coronavirus. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer must be in your bag or pocket at all times when traveling. You can easily clean or sterilize your hands after doing any activities.
5. Avoid raw food and live animal culinary.
Photo: Image by Ji-yeon Yun from Pixabay.
According to the Food safety authority of Ireland, there is still no evidence of transmission of coronavirus through food. However, Raw and uncooked food are considered unsafe. Please avoid these kinds of foods when traveling. Meat or fishes should be cooked before any consumption. It is recommended to cook any food at least 30 minutes at 60 degrees Celsius to be effective in reducing the risk of coronavirus. If you can, choose restaurants that have been practicing good hygiene in preparing and serving the food.