Travel in the Time of Coronavirus: WHO, Health Ministry's Advice

What are some public health measures to follow while traveling during coronavirus?

Health News
2 min read
Novel coronavirus in India: Where do we stand?

Coronavirus doesn’t respect any boundaries, neither any plans. If you already had travel plans and want to go ahead with them or are already traveling somewhere, the World Health Organization has released some guidelines to be followed. The coronavirus outbreak has been declared a public health emergency of international concern and temporary Recommendations have been issued.

Temperature screening alone, at exit or entry, is not an effective way to prevent international spread since infected individuals may be in incubation period, may not express apparent symptoms early on in the course of the disease… it is more effective to provide prevention recommendation messages to travellers and to collect health declarations at arrival, with travellers’ contact details, to allow for a proper risk assessment and a possible contact tracing of incoming travellers

What does WHO Say to Travellers?

WHO recommends that those who are sick or elderly with chronic or underlying health conditions should not be travelling at all in the current scenario. General guidelines especially important for travellers given by WHO are:

  • Perform hand hygiene frequently, particularly after contact with respiratory secretions. Hand hygiene includes either cleaning hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub. Alcohol-based hand rubs are preferred if hands are not visibly soiled; wash hands with soap and water when they are visibly soiled;

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing and disposing immediately of the tissue and performing hand hygiene;

  • Refrain from touching mouth and nose;

  • A medical mask is not required if exhibiting no symptoms, as there is no evidence that wearing a mask – of any type – protects non-sick persons.

Outbreak in Delhi; Ministry of Health Issues Guidelines

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued an advisory to tackle COVID-19 and turn the widespread panic into vigilance.

Indian citizens are strongly advised to avoid non-essential travel to Singapore, Republic of Korea, Islamic Republic of Iran or Italy.

One of the key precautions is practicing good hygiene, but what does that entail exactly?

Pointers for staying healthy while travelling.

  • Get into the habit of washing your hands with soap

  • Follow respiratory etiquette: cover your mouth, use a tissue

  • Stay indoors if you show any symptoms of the illness like coughing or a runny nose

  • Avoid contact with people who are unwell

  • Avoid consuming raw/under cooked meats

  • Avoid going to farms where live animals are slaughtered

  • Wear a mask and use hand sanitizer while travelling

  • If you feel sick on a flight, inform the crew and request for a mask and self-reporting form

  • Immediate report to the Airport Health Office or the Immigration Office

  • Make use the helpline number : (011-23978046)

If you feel sick within a span of 28 days after return from COVID-19 affected areas, the health ministry has a specific set of instructions for you:

  • Self-isolate: stay indoors and avoid contact with even family members

  • Report yourself to the nearest hospital at priority

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