Covid- 19 Update – 26/2/20
The situation regarding the Covid-19 virus is now causing concern in many areas around the world. It is constantly changing, almost by the day.
It seems to have originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province in South Central China. From there it spread to some other countries in S.E Asia. In recent days there has been a spike in reported cases in Europe, the Middle East and North America.
We are monitoring the situation several times daily, taking advice from our local agents and hotels, as well as non-travel friends residing in the areas. Plus of course, keeping in touch with the UK Foreign Office travel advice. This is updated on a regular basis and influences many of the decisions made by travel companies in the UK.
For additional information on the virus and its activity track, you might find the World Health Organisation website of interest – www.who.int.
Also, the John Hopkins University in the USA (centre for system science and engineering) has some real-time maps and charts on the virus and seems to be used by many of the news stations for statistics.
Also see https://travelhealthpro.org.
Please note, many countries are now prohibiting entry if you have recently travelled to one of the main virus concerned areas. Just by example, but not limited to, China, South Korea, Iran and parts of Northern Italy. The Travel Health website provides details .
Please Note – we are not medically qualified so are unable to voice any assurance or opinion on the virus, other than what we have read or heard.
Some of the figures flashing our screens are alarming, so just to put things into some perspective. The population of China is 1.4 billion plus, the area around the epicenter of the virus in Wuhan alone has over 20m people. The UK population is around 73m. Whilst the virus has spread into many more countries, over 90% of the confirmed cases are in China and around 2% of the fatalities are in non-China related areas. Of course, any fatality is tragic but from what we have read virtually all are elderly and with a long history of respiratory issues. Looking at some of the figures, 97% of the confirmed cases seem to make a full recovery within 3 weeks.
In the UK over 7,000 people die annually from flu virus issues. Actually, in the harsh winter of 2008/9, this rose to 13,000. In the USA, in the especially severe winter of 2017/18, over 1m people were hospitalised with a flu-related illness and over 80,000 deaths were recorded. None of this minimises the present situation. We are just trying to put some scale into the figures.
If you are returning to the UK after travel to one of the virus-related areas (and this could be Europe / North America, as well as Far East / S E Asia) and you feel unwell with severe flu style symptoms please call (NHS) 111.
If you call your local GP they will usually suggest you call this number.
Please Note – UK Government advice seems to be increasingly referring to a self-imposed quarantine for a period of 2/3 weeks. Again, refer to the UK Government travel advice as detailed previously.
Also note that the Covid-19 virus is a different strain to the Norovirus, which seems to affect many cruise ships on an annual basis.
Should you wish to discuss your travel plans further, please contact David at chic Locations firstname.lastname@example.org. Whilst he does not have a crystal ball on the future, he will be able to rationalise most concerns.
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Please refer to Travel Advice on our home page or look at www.fco.gov.uk as the Foreign Office may have issued specific destination information on safety and terrorism.