One of the most common questions flying around lately is “Should I cancel my travel plans?” On the 13th of February 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) said no. Dr. Carmen Dolea, Head, IHR Secretariat at the World Health Organisation, says the risk of being infected is low. Some counties have enforced quarantines on travelers returning home based on risk assessments identified. “Travelers should not cancel their trips but they should take into account the various restrictions airlines and governments have put in place.”

Media hype is fueling a crisis in the travel and tourism industry that is impacting real people’s lives as trips are cancelled, airlines cut back, hotels and resorts close and travel companies take measures to reduce costs. Perspective is needed to understand how the COVID-19 threat compares to everyday dangers people currently take precautions against while traveling.

Deciding To Travel

  • At this time, there are no travel restrictions to or from Smiling Albino destinations coming out of North America, The United Kingdom and Australia.
  • Currently, the US CDC does not advise people to change their travel plans to Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.
  • See the latest information and advice for the public on the outbreak of coronavirus from the Department of Health and Social Care. This covers the current situation in the UK and abroad, and provides specific advice for travelers returning to the UK
  • Life very much continues as normal in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar, and we are continuously monitoring the situation to ensure all guests are kept healthy and safe.
  • The Smiling Albino team is reminding guests to exercise the same levels of precautions to avoid contracting the flu while traveling, as they do during flu season in their hometowns.

How COVID-19 Compares to Other Global Health Statistics

As the COVID-19 is a new strain of virus, it is understandable that the rising numbers of infected is alarming, however, when compared to other health-related illnesses and even dealths, the number is not a worrying figure. Below is information sourced from the World Health Organization that may help to put the impact of the coronavirus into perspective.

Coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • 98,698 total cases
  • 3,383 total deaths
    • 1 death in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar
  • 55,444 recovered

Influenza:

  • 3 to 5 million annual severe cases
  • 290,000 to 650,000 annual deaths

Malaria:

  • 228 million cases worldwide in 2018
  • 405,000 malaria deaths

Road Deaths:

  • 3,700 people die on the road every day
  • 1,350,500 deaths a year

Dengue:

  • 390 million annual infections
  • 25,000 annual deaths

Conclusion

As the number of new COVID-19 infections outside China exceeded those recorded inside the country for the first time, this viral outbreak is now a global issue. The odds of catching the CoronaVirus are just as remote in Thailand as in the United States. The decline in the infection rate in China also shows that the drastic prevention steps taken at the epicenter, in China’s Hubei province, are having some positive results.

As serious and disruptive this epidemic has been, one optimistic result has been the increased public health and contagious illness prevention AWARENESS.

The World Health Organization is reminding citizens that “most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover”. To prevent the contraction of COVID-19, it is recommended to:

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

The World Health Organization is working closely with global experts, governments and partners to rapidly expand scientific knowledge on this new virus, to track the spread and virulence of the virus, and to provide advice to countries and individuals on measures to protect health and prevent the spread of this outbreak.

At Smiling Albino, we are committed to keeping our guests safe and healthy and are constantly monitoring the sitauation, though we remind our friends, travelers and partners that life very much continues as normal in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

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