6 tips to help you travel safely amidst the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak
Much like the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), the Wuhan coronavirus is believed to have come from an infection that affects more than one animal species, including bats. It was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December and has now reached multiple countries across the globe.
As such, it is generally advised that people take extra precautions when travelling. If you already have a vacation to China planned, it is wise to postpone or cancel it, as the infection rates of the coronavirus are highest in this country. But you can continue with your travel plans to other destinations, provided that they are safe and unaffected zones. The most important thing to do is to remain calm and remember to make extra preparations. Here are some tips to help you minimise your risk of encountering the new coronavirus as you travel.
1. Prep yourself well before your trip.
Start making preparations in advance, well before your flight. One of the ways you can do this is to inform others on your travel itinerary. Besides letting friends and family members know where you’re going, you should input your details into the MFA eRegister system. The system is a free service created by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) allows Singaporean travellers to voluntarily provide information that will allow the ministry to assist in times of an emergency abroad.
Also: don’t forget to pack a fully equipped standard first-aid kit into your luggage. This way, you can mitigate the effects of an injury or illness on your own while waiting for professional help during a medical crisis. And make sure that you are in the pink of health before you travel. You can do so by exercising, eating well, getting a lot of sleep, and loading up on vitamins and supplements.
2. Clean your hands regularly.
When you are travelling, you are bound to come into contact with foreign spaces, surfaces, and objects. It’s therefore important to keep your hands clean at all times. Avoid touching unnecessary things. Wash your hands regularly, and do so thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Don’t forget to carry a hand sanitiser with you everywhere you go to minimise germ attraction. Have time to prepare yourself ahead of your trip? You can also get yourself a pair of these anti-bacterial gloves that come infused with a natural, germ-killing agent.
3. Wear your mask at all times.
Like MERS, SARS, and your common cold virus, the Wuhan virus is most likely airborne. So it is suspected to transmit from one person to another via respiratory droplets hovering in the air. To lower your risk of contracting it in a new environment, be sure to carry a mask with you wherever you go.
To ensure effective protection, your mask has to be the right type — that is, the N95 respirator — that fits properly on the sides. But if you can only access the usual surgical design, then the only right way to wear it is colour-side out. As Medical Mythbusters Malaysia has recently pointed out, the mask’s blue/green layer is hydrophobic, which means it is fluid-repelling. Worn this way, you can prevent respiratory droplets from entering your system.
4. Watch what you eat.
It is always crucial to pay attention to what you eat, particularly during a health epidemic where the virus in question came from an animal infection. The nature of the coronavirus is believed to have originated from the Chinese wet market in Wuhan, where meat, poultry, and seafood produces are sold. It is thus best to avoid eating meat and stick to a temporary plant-based diet while you travel. Whenever possible, be sure to make your own meals; cooking your own food allows you to control and be completely aware of what you put in your body.
5. Avoid visiting places with animals.
Again, with a virus that has its origins in animal-to-human infection, you have to be wary of visiting places with animals during your trip. These places include cat cafes, petting farms, and animal shelters. And a public zoo is obviously a big no-no. This step will be hard to do if you’re an animal lover, but it is for the best if you want to stay safe while abroad. If you have to bring your pets with you when you travel, ensure that they are safely confined within your arranged accommodation space, or in a carrier at all times when on the go.
6. Stay updated, always.
When you still have to travel amidst the outbreak, you must acknowledge and accept that you will always be at risk of contracting it — anytime, anywhere. It is important that you keep yourself updated on the virus’s development wherever you go. By staying on its trails via news and healthcare announcements, you get to be on top of your travel pathways — and keep yourself and your immediate environment consistently in-check.
Having a travel agent helps with making last-minute changes to your plans as you deal with factors that are out of your control. Book your trip with us today to ensure that you get all the help you need, 24/7, wherever you are.