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Last Updated: March 30, 2020 

Time: EST 09.40 AM

The current outbreak of deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by  the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been declared pandemic by WHO. It was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. So far, it has made its presence felt across 199 countries in the world. WHO (World Health Organization) Risk Assessment marks it as Very High. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that invades human lung cells: mucus and ones with hair-like batons called cilia. This is a communicable disease that spreads via respiratory droplets expelled during coughing or sneezing.

SITUATION IN NUMBERS

Detailed Report by Country (March 30, EST 09.40 AM)

Confirmed Cases: 739,371
Deaths: 35,017

Recovered: 156, 402

[According to Worldometer (a Statistics website by developers, researchers and volunteers]

Country Total Cases New Cases Total Deaths New Deaths Recovered

USA

1,42,793 333 2,490 6 4,562
Italy 97,689 10,779 13,030
Spain 85,195 5,085 7,340 537 16,780
China 81,470 31 3,304 4 75,700
Germany 63,079 644 545 4 9,211
Iran 41,495 3,186 2,757 117 13,911
France 40,174 2,606 7,202
UK 19,522 1,228 135
Switzerland 15,526 697 333 33 1,823
Belgium 11,899 1,063 513 82 1,527
Netherlands 11,750 884 864 93 250
S. Korea 9,661 78 158 6 5,228
Austria 9,377 589 108 22 636
Turkey 9,217 131 105
Portugal 6,408 446 140 21 43
Canada 6,320 65 573
Norway 4,393 109 31 5 12
Israel 4,347 100 16 1 134
Brazil 4,316 60 139 3 120
Australia 4,245 82 18 1 244
Sweden 4,028 328 146 36 16
Czechia 2,878 61 17 1 11
Malaysia 2,626 156 37 2 479
Ireland 2,615 46 5
Denmark 2,555 160 77 5 1
Chile 2,449 310 8 1 156
Luxembourg 1,988 38 22 1 40
Poland 1,984 122 26 4 7
Romania 1,952 137 46 3 206
Ecuador 1,924 58 3
Japan 1,866 54 424
Russia 1,836 302 9 1 66
Pakistan 1,650 53 20 6 29
Philippines 1,546 128 78 7 42
Thailand 1,524 136 9 2 229
Saudi Arabia 1,453 154 8 66
Indonesia 1,414 129 122 8 75
Finland 1,352 112 13 2 10
South Africa 1,280 2 31
Greece 1,156 39 52
India 1,071 47 29 2 100
Iceland 1,020 2 135
Mexico 993 145 20 4 35
Panama 989 24 4
Singapore 879 35 3 228
Dominican Republic 859 39 3
Peru 852 18 16
Argentina 820 22 2 91
Croatia 790 77 6 67
Serbia 785 44 15 2 42
Slovenia 756 26 11 10
Estonia 715 36 3 20
Diamond Princess 712 10 603
Colombia 702 10 10
Hong Kong 642 4 118
Qatar 634 1 48
UAE 611 41 5 2 61
Egypt 609 40 132
New Zealand 589 75 1 63
Iraq 547 42 143
Morocco 516 37 29 3 14
Bahrain 515 16 4 279
Algeria 511 31 31
Lithuania 484 24 7 1
Armenia 482 58 3 30
Ukraine 480 5 11 1 6
Hungary 447 39 15 2 34
Lebanon 446 8 11 1 32
Latvia 376 29 1
Bosnia and Herzegovina 354 31 8 2 17
Bulgaria 354 8 8 15
Slovakia 336 22 7
Andorra 334 6 6
Costa Rica 314 2 3
Tunisia 312 8 2
Taiwan 306 8 5 2 39
Uruguay 304 1
Kazakhstan 302 18 1 21
North Macedonia 285 26 7 1 12
Azerbaijan 273 64 4 26
Kuwait 266 11 72
Moldova 263 2 13
Jordan 259 4 1 18
San Marino 230 6 25 3 13
Albania 223 11 11 1 44
Burkina Faso 222 12 23
Cyprus 214 6 15
Vietnam 203 9 55
Réunion 183 1
Oman 179 12 29
Faeroe Islands 168 9 70
Ivory Coast 165 1 4
Senegal 162 20 27
Malta 156 5 2
Ghana 152 5 2
Belarus 152 58 32
Uzbekistan 149 5 2 7
Channel Islands 141 33 2
Cameroon 139 6 5
Cuba 139 3 4
Honduras 139 29 3 3
Venezuela 129 10 3 39
Brunei 127 1 1 38
Sri Lanka 122 5 2 1 15
Afghanistan 120 4 2
Palestine 115 6 1 18
Nigeria 111 1 3
Mauritius 110 3 3
Cambodia 107 4 21
Guadeloupe 106 4 17
Georgia 100 9 18
Bolivia 96 15 3 2
Kyrgyzstan 94 10
Martinique 93 1
Montenegro 91 6 1
Mayotte 82 19 10
DRC 81 8 2
Trinidad and Tobago 78 3 1
Rwanda 70
Gibraltar 65 14
Paraguay 64 5 3 1
Liechtenstein 62 6
Kenya 50 8 1 1
Aruba 50 1
Bangladesh 49 1 5 19
Monaco 46 1 1
Isle of Man 46 4
French Guiana 43 6
Madagascar 39
Macao 38 1 10
Guatemala 36 2 1 10
French Polynesia 35 5
Zambia 35 6
Jamaica 34 2 1 2
Barbados 33
Uganda 33
Togo 30 5 1 1
El Salvador 30 6
Mali 25 7 2 1
Ethiopia 23 2 1
Niger 22 4 3 2
Bermuda 22 2
Congo 19
Tanzania 19 5 1
Djibouti 18
Maldives 17 13
Guinea 16
Saint Martin 15 4 1 1 2
Haiti 15 1
New Caledonia 15
Bahamas 14 1
Myanmar 14 4
Cayman Islands 12 1
Equatorial Guinea 12
Eritrea 12
Mongolia 12 2
Dominica 11
Namibia 11 2
Greenland 10 2
Syria 9 1
Grenada 9
Saint Lucia 9 1
Eswatini 9
Curaçao 8 1 2
Guyana 8 1
Laos 8
Libya 8
Mozambique 8
Seychelles 8
Suriname 8
Angola 7 2
Gabon 7 1
Zimbabwe 7 1
Antigua and Barbuda 7
Saint Kitts and Nevis 7 5
Sudan 6 2 1
Cabo Verde 6 1
Benin 6
Vatican City 6
Sint Maarten 6
Nepal 5 1
Chad 5 2
Fiji 5
Mauritania 5 2
Montserrat 5
St. Barth 5
Gambia 4 1
Nicaragua 4 1
Bhutan 4
Turks and Caicos 4
CAR 3
Liberia 3
Somalia 3
MS Zaandam 2
Anguilla 2
Belize 2
British Virgin Islands 2
Guinea-Bissau 2
Papua New Guinea 1
St. Vincent Grenadines 1 1
Timor-Leste 1
Total: 7,39,371 17,012 35,017 1,051 1,56,402

Though entire economy faces the brunt, travel and tourism industry has seen its one of the worst times. Repatriation and quarantine of travellers coming from coronavirus-hit areas has become a common phenomenon. Several countries have imposed restriction on entry of travellers from such areas.

Recommendations for International Travelers

1. Avoid travel to affected areas

Postpone travel to areas marked as high risk. Particular elderly and people with chronic diseases or underlying health conditions should avoid the travel.

2. Practice hand hygiene

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.

3. Help in Containing the Infection

Cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing. Disposing immediately of the tissue and perform hand hygiene. Refrain from touching mouth and nose.

4. Medical mask (Optional)

A medical mask is not required if exhibiting no symptoms so do not panic due to scarcity of masks in the market. There is little or no evidence that wearing a mask protects non-sick persons. If masks are to be worn, it is critical to adhere to the etiquettes on how to wear, remove and dispose of the masks and on hand hygiene after removal.

5. Eat well-cooked food only

Cooking the food adequately helps you kill the virus, and infection thereof.

6. Maintain social distancing

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. When a person sneezes or coughs, they expel certain amount of small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

7. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

8. Practice respiratory hygiene

Following a good respiratory hygiene you can help in containing the infection. Cover your mouth or nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

9. Contact a medical facility

If you have fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and any related health issues or find someone with the symptoms, immediately rush to a medical facility to get you diagnosed, and treated, if required.

10. When in an international territory

If you are travelling and got any related symptoms or diagnosed with the infection, contact your embassy in the country and follow the guidelines. Most of the embassies have set up emergency helpline number to assist their citizens cope with any untoward incident. If you are on a flight, get in touch with the crew members.

Airline Ticket Cancellation or Refund

Most of the airlines operating flights to or from China, South Korea, Iran, Italy and other regions hit by novel coronavirus have suspended their scheduled flights. They are facilitating dedicated online portal or kiosk to proactively educate travelers of flight status, immigration information, and help them with flight cancellation, refund (future credit only) or ticket changes. The refund is not processed in the monetary term, but in the form of credit that can be used to book ticket within 12 months of the current booking. Cheapfaremart is assisting its customers spontaneously as per the airline’s policy.

Airlines have also relaxed their fare rules allowing passengers to cancel or make changes to ticket even the non-refundable ones for free. The refund amount can be used for future ticket purchases too.

Travelers are encouraged to use the online services to save time on phone calls and over-the-counter processing. Refer to the Travel Advisory of key airlines as mentioned below. If yours is not mentioned, check the travel advisory on its official website:

S. No Airline Name Relaxation Refer eligibility and other details
1 China Airlines  Full refund, change fee waived on concerned route. Payments of chargeable seats, pre-paid excess baggage can be full refund.  https://www.china-airlines.com/tw/en/discover/news/travel-advisory?travelAlert
2 Alaska Airlines Full refund, and ticket changes allowed for free https://www.alaskaair.com/content/advisories/travel-advisories
3 American Airlines Full refund, and ticket changes allowed for free https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/travel-alerts.jsp
4 Air Canada  Full refund, and ticket changes allowed for free https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html
5 Emirates Full refund, and ticket changes allowed for free https://www.emirates.com/in/english/help/travel-updates/
6 China Eastern Full refund, and ticket changes allowed for free https://us.ceair.com/newCMS/us/en/content/en_News/TravelAlert/

Frequently Asked Questions on Coronavirus

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Fever, tiredness, and dry cough are the common symptoms of the infection. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.

Most of the COVID-19 symptoms develop gradually and are mild. In several cases, infected persons do not exhibit any noticeable symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

How does COVID-19 spread?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales.

These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
Does the COVID-19 virus transmit through the air?

Virus causing COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air. See previous answer on “How does COVID-19 spread?”

Can CoVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?

The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. The spread of infection cannot be ruled out as most of the infected people exhibit mild symptoms like cough or sneezing similar to that in the case common cold or influenza.

Can I catch COVID-19 from the feces of someone with the disease?

While initial investigations suggest the virus may be present in feces in some cases, the probability of catching the infection remains low. Experts deny that it can lead to the outbreak as the world faces today. However, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) has advised people to be cautious of aerosol or contact transmission of novel coronavirus via feces and urine of infected people.

Should I cancel my travel plan?

No, unless you are visiting COVID-19-hit areas, like Hubei Province (China) that have become the epicentre of the infection. This is what Dr. Carmen Dolea, Head International Health Regulations Secretariat, World Health Organization, also advised travelers in a related discussion. Asserting that prevention is better than cure she recommends them to practice general body and food hygiene as discussed above.

How safe are the cabin of aircraft for travel?

All carriers are paying extra attention towards sanitization of the environment. They are treating their interior components as mentioned below with disinfectant.

  • Arm rests
  • Seat belts
  • Tray tables
  • Overhead controls: air vent, light button, call button
  • Exterior and interior door handles to lavatories
  • Front and back of seats
  • Window shades
  • Handles to carry-on compartments

source:WHO (Data as reported to WHO by national authorities by 10:00 CET 26 March 2020)

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