Namaste and a very healthy good morning to all from Nepal. In this state of emergency, Nepal is not the only country that is being affected because of novel health risk nCOV. There is a kind of fear in the general public regarding the spread of coronavirus is capital of Nepal. With indication of WHO as a high risk zone, we should be well prepared to fight against this health emergency. This article is intended to provide you some recommendations and tips for cross border travelers in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In general, the first and foremost thing is personal hygiene and precaution measures remain prime importance for all travelers. Regarding this, some recommendations by WHO include:

    Perform hand hygiene frequently, particularly after contact with respiratory secretions. Hand hygiene includes either cleaning hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub. Alcohol-based hand rubs are preferred if hands are not visibly soiled; wash hands with soap and water when they are visibly soiled;
    Cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing and disposing immediately of the tissue and performing hand hygiene;
    Refrain from touching mouth and nose;
    According to WHO, A medical mask is not required if exhibiting no symptoms, as there is no evidence that wearing a mask – of any type – protects non-sick persons. However, in some cultures, masks may be commonly worn. If masks are to be worn, it is critical to follow best practices on how to wear, remove and dispose of them and on hand hygiene after removal. The following information on the correct use of medical masks derives from the practices in health-care settings : –
    • place mask carefully to cover mouth and nose and tie securely to minimize any gaps between the face and the mask;
    • while in use, avoid touching the mask;
    • remove the mask by using the appropriate technique (i.e. do not touch the front but remove the lace from behind);
    • after removal or whenever you inadvertently touch a used mask, clean hands by using an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water if visibly soiled – replace masks with a new clean, dry mask as soon as they become damp/humid;
    • do not re-use single-use masks;
    • discard single-use masks after each use and dispose of them immediately upon removal.
    • Cloth (e.g. cotton or gauze) masks are not recommended under any circumstance.

WHO advice for international traffic in relation to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV with Dr Carmen Dolea, Head, IHR Secretariat at the World Health Organization So far, the main clinical signs and symptoms reported in this outbreak include fever, difficulty in breathing, and chest radiographs showing bilateral lung infiltrates. As of 27 January 2020, human-to-human transmission has been confirmed largely in Wuhan city, but also some other places in China and internationally. Not enough is known about the epidemiology of 2019-nCoV to draw definitive conclusions about the full clinical features of disease, the intensity of the human-to-human transmission, and the original source of the outbreak.

Travelers of all types, either be domestic or international, should strictly follow hand, oral respiratory hygiene, and basic safe food practices:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
  • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
  • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

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