With the recent scare of Corona Virus (also known as Covid-19 or Wuhan Virus), there have been lots of bans and travel restrictions on countries and airlines.
For Example, as at March 12th, Uganda restricted travel from 16 countries including UK and USA. While Airlines like EgyptAir, Kenya Airways, Air France, Rwanda Air, South African Airlines, etc. have all restricted flights to certain affected areas. Think Global Health identified eighty-three countries and territories that have imposed travel restrictions against China as of February 25th. With over 103 countries worldwide affected by the spread of the virus, it is no wonder World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it a Pandemic as at March 11th 2020.
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The global travel industry may have taken a hit from the spread of this virus, but ours doesn’t have to. As of today, we have only 3 confirmed cases in Nigeria (in Lagos State and Ogun State only) and no one has died from it yet. All known suspected cases are in isolation except for Enwelunta Godfrey Obumnore and Salami Abiodun Sodiq. So there is no reason Nigerians should panic about travelling, especially within the country.
For those still interested in travelling out of the country this period, the following countries frequently visited by Nigerians have no cases of Corona virus as at March 12th 2020 – Cape Verde, Kenya, Benin Republic, Gambia, Tanzania, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Rwanda. But be warned, some of these countries (like Benin Republic) have a 14 days quarantine period for travellers from affected or at-risk countries like Nigeria. For Nigerians planning vacations within Africa, avoid any country with confirmed cases of Corona virus e.g. Egypt, Algeria, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Togo, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, DR and Congo.
For now, it is advisable to avoid travelling to China and if you must travel abroad, delay any non-essential trip.
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How do we stay safe while travelling during this global pandemic? Some tips have been listed here on Connect Nigeria.
But let’s just reiterate on some that can help you stay safe from Covid-19 while travelling:
1. If you are travelling to a country or town with higher rates of the Corona Virus infection, invest in a respirator (N95 respirator). It is may be more difficult to breathe with it, but it is more efficient at filtering air than the usual face mask.
2. Avoid being near anything that can cause nasal irritation. For example, overhead vents in aeroplanes and AC vents in buses, cinema houses, etc. Vents can carry germs from hands who touch it if not regularly cleaned. If you must seat near a vent, try to not use your bare hands when you direct it away from your face. You can also make enquiries to confirm if the transport company uses high efficiency air filters for their ACs and Air Vents.
3. Use hand Sanitisers that have 70% alcohol base and can dry off on your hands if you have limited access to soap and water to wash your hands for 20 seconds. (In my opinion, an alcohol based wipe is just as useful as hand sanitiser but this is yet to be a discussion because some professionals think using tissue paper is better).
4. Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions at the point of entry into any country. Voluntarily self-quarantine for at least 14-21 days if you just returned from an affected country with active COVID-19 cases. And report any symptoms you may feel to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) if they occur.
Once you put all the health and safety advice into practise, your odds of getting sick are slimmer. Stay safe, everyone.
New York Times
Think Global Health
Featured Image Source: Ventures Africa
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