LAST UPDATED: 11 FEBRUARY 2020 | 10:00 GMT +7

General Information

• The Smiling Albino team’s highest priority is the health and welfare of our guests. We are monitoring the situation very closely and are in continual contact with our teams on the ground throughout the region. Life is going on as normal here with a few extra precautions.

• The chances of being infected while on a holiday in Southeast Asia are very slim and precautions can be taken: cover your mouth when sneezing, disinfect your hands regularly, boost your immune system, avoid crowded areas and wear surgical masks when out in public areas.

• Approximately 80% of those infected have only mild to moderate symptoms.

• While 20% of those infected have more severe symptoms, and currently 2% of cases are fatal, these figures are very likely to be over-estimates due to under-reporting of the 80% and those who are asymptomatic.

World Health Organisation’s Novel Coronavirus advice for the public

• For more information on the coronavirus, visit the World Health Organisation’s updated information on the novel coronavirus or the John Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering dashboard map.

Important Travel Information

• Flight restrictions to and from China (including Hong Kong) may affect some connecting flights to and from Southeast Asia – please double-check flights with your airline or travel agent.

• Travel outside China continues as usual.

• Our hosts will provide face masks and hand sanitiser when requested.

• Add sanitizing gels to your packing list. Officials and medical professionals note that one of the best ways to prevent infection is to practice good hygiene, including disinfecting your hands regularly. To avoid encountering a shortage of supplies, we suggest to bring these items with you.

• We have been reaching out to our partners in the region requesting special cancellation policies to address the coronavirus travel disruption. Given that no travel restrictions have been declared by the WHO or a government, cancellation fees still apply. Some hotels and services are waiving fees or offering flexibility in booking rescheduling. Any cancellations or re-bookings will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Thailand

The Public Health Ministry of Thailand has sought to still public fears over the coronavirus, a viral respiratory infection similar to SARS that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, with assurances that measures are in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Department of Disease Control has reported that in Thailand there have been 25 confirmed coronavirus cases. The majority of the cases have been Chinese tourists from Hubei Province in which Wuhan is, the central Chinese city that is at the epicenter of the outbreak. Seven of these have already returned to China. One Thai national, who had visited Wuhan over the New Year holiday, contracted the disease while three other Thais are believed to have caught the virus in Thailand. All those infected are being treated at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute in Nonthaburi (near Bangkok).

The local government in Thailand and the tourism industry are taking precautions against the disease. Screenings are being done upon arrival at five airports and all flights from Wuhan have been blocked. A new automatic thermo-scanning, at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang international airports, has been activated as of 28 January, with all passengers arriving from China on all flights being subjected to the upgraded screening process. Mass transit operators including the Bangkok sky-train and subways are also increasing the frequencies of wipe downs and spraying disinfectants in trains, the Transport Ministry said.

As of 10 Feburary 2020: 

  • On Monday, the number of confirmed local coronavirus cases remained at 32, 10 of whom have been  discharged from hospitals. Two of the nine Thai patients were in critical condition. Another 689 ill people were being monitored for possible coronavirus infection.
  • Thailand has been named as one of the top ten countries with the best health security. Therefore, the country is well equipped to handle this latest Coronavirus infection as we have successfully done during the outbreaks of SARS and MERS. Source.
  • The Thai Government has been active in the international networks of infectious diseases in which countries share their experience and best practices on this human health issue.  Thailand is in the forefront of, and plays an integral part in, the international efforts advocated to establish the most effective preventive and treatment measures to the problems. Source.
  • Thailand is now screening all incoming passengers from China.

Vietnam

Vietnam’s health ministry is working on tactics to contain the spread of the coronavirus, a viral respiratory infection similar to SARS that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. The government and authorities are on high alert and giving high priority to the prevention and combat against this epidemic.

At this time, Vietnam is exercising the following measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus:

  • All the international airports have fever checking machines and been checking the body temperature of passengers arriving in Vietnam;
  • The Ministry of Health’s emergency operations center has been activated to prevent the epidemic from spreading and provide sufficient and precise information for the public;
  • People who show signs of fever or those in contact with people with suspected signs are being strictly monitored;
  • Hospitals have prepared isolated areas to prevent cross-infection in the event that a confirmed case needs to be treated;
  • All flights to and from China have been banned
  • Vietnamese authorities have implemented health declarations for people arriving from China by air and road.
  • As of 02 February, 23 provinces and cities have postpone the post Tet holiday restarting date by one week with classes to resume on 10 February.
  • As of 05 February, the Vietnamese government will identify any tourist who has recenlty been to the central of the outbreak in China (Hebei – Wuhan) as highest risk and will be totally isolated from public community as per the health department’s instructions.
  • As of 10 February, Suspension of all flights to mainland China; a ban on all foreign visitors who have been in China within the past 14 days and returning Vietnamese quarantined. Flights to Hong Kong and Taiwan still operational. Incoming Chinese tour groups suspended, returning workers from China being quarantined.

At the time of update, there are 15 cases who tested positive for coronavirus. All of the cases are people who had flown from the Chinese city of Wuhan. Friends and relatives of the infected are being kept under close monitoring. Vietnam’s health sector has implemented strict measures in order to isolate these cases.

Cambodia

Cambodia confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the country, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said on Monday 27 January 2020. The infected patient is a Chinese man who traveled from Wuhan to the coastal city of Sihanoukville earlier this month. He has since recovered.

The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh and the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) are working with the Cambodian authorities to enhance surveillance for respiratory diseases at healthcare facilities and international airports. To this effect Cambodian airports are screening all visitors for signs of respiratory diseases and high temperatures. The US Embassy in Phnom Penh still has the normal level 1 ‘practice usual precaution’ on their website.

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