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Travelling During COVID-19 Outbreak?

February 28, 2020

 

 

The COVID – 19 outbreak is in full swing! Many countries have either closed their borders or imposed quarantine restrictions on travellers from affected countries.

 

Hence, can one still travel during this period?

The safest would be to defer all non-essential travel to affected countries during this period.

 

However, if one absolutely has to travel, there are a few precautions one can take to minimize the risk of contracting COVID – 19.

 

 

Most Importantly: Practice Hand Hygiene

 

Hand hygiene would be the most important step to reduce the risk of transmission.

 

Frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizers eliminates contagious viruses from our hands. These viruses enter our bodies and infect us when we touch our eyes, mouth or nose with our contaminated hands. The COVID -19 virus is able to survive on surfaces for a period of time, hence we will never know if we have touched a contaminated surface.

 

Proper Ways to Wash Your Hands

 

 

Is Mask Useful?

 

As of now, COVID-19 is found to be spread mainly by respiratory droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

 

 

Normal Routine Use is Unlikely to be Helpful; 
Unless You’re Travelling to a High-Risk Area

These droplets do not float in the air and sink to the ground and/or surface soon after exiting an infected person’s respiratory tract. Hence, normal routine use is unlikely to be helpful as the chance of a droplet being sprayed directly onto your eyes, nose or mouth is exceedingly low.

 

It is a different story if you are travelling to a high-risk area. In that situation, a mask is definitely useful.

 

 

 

Is It Safe to Travel on Airplanes?

 

Fortunately, modern airplanes utilize high-efficiency filters that remove 99.97% of viruses and other particles in re-circulated air.

 

Hence, risk of contracting COVID-19 while on an airplane comes not from the supplied air, but from other people. If one follows a strict hand hygiene routine, the risk is minimal.

 

 

All in all, travelling during this period does carry a risk of contracting COVID – 19.

 

However, if one follows a comprehensive hand hygiene regime and uses a mask judiciously, the risk can be minimized.

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