Chinese New Year Travel during Coronaviruses threat
Coronaviruses are becoming the latest threat to the global travel and tourism industry. Coronaviruses had more than 2 Million searches on Google today, the world is getting concerned. The good news is, the World Health Organization is not ready to call the outbreak of Coronaviruses a global health crisis, or a health emergency yet.
January 25 is Chinese New Year and Chinese visitors are traveling by the millions around the globe. This is not really good news for many tourism destinations, but with good health management and common sense, there is no reason to panic.
Here are some known facts not only the travel and tourism industry need to know.
- Coronavirus is a SARS-like virus, that infected 570 known people so far. SARS killed approximately 800 people in 2003.
- Coronavirus can cause pneumonia, and those infected do not react to antibiotics.
- Coronavirus kills approximately 10% of those infected.
- Coronavirus was first identified in the Chinese city Wuhan by Leo Poon, who first decoded the virus, thinks it likely started in an animal and spread to humans.
- The MERS virus reported in the Middle East in 2012 had similar respiratory symptoms but was 3-4 times as deadly compared to Coronavirus
- Coronavirus spreads among humans when an infected person comes in contacted with another person through droplets, like coughing.
- Coronavirus has no known treatment, but scientists are working around the clock to find it.
Wuhan, a Chinese city of 11 Million is the sprawling capital of Central China’s Hubei province, is a commercial center divided by the Yangtze and Han rivers. The city contains many lakes and parks, including expansive, picturesque East Lake. Nearby, the Hubei Provincial Museum displays relics from the Warring States period, including the Marquis Yi of Zeng’s coffin and bronze musical bells from his 5th-century B.C
Wuhan is now closed to the outside world. The airport is closed, roads are blocked, all to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus, however the government is playing down the crisis, and experts feat not all cases are actually reported.
More and more people in China, including Beijing and Hong Kong, are seen to wear masks. The flight crews on some airlines, including Cathay Pacific are wearing masks.
A New York Times reporter in Wuhan reports: “Wuhan Railway Station, usually thronging with people in the days before the Lunar New Year holiday, is very empty.” He adds: Some people in Wuhan decided to flee the city.
Coronaviruses have started to spread to several cities in China. Almost 600 people are sick. The virus spread to Thailand with 3 known cases, Taiwan, Japan, and the United States recorded one case at this time.
The U.S. among other countries is now screening passengers from China at airports.
Chinese love to travel and every destination by Chinese travelers should prepare immediately to avoid the further international spread of the virus.
Coronaviruses is not a global travel and tourism crisis yet, but the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center is watching the situation. The Rapid response mechanism for Safer Tourism is monitoring Coronaviruses