At the beginning of the year a novel coronavirus originating from China (2019-nCoV) has been discovered and reported to the WHO.
Currently, the number of cases continues to rise, and a few isolated deaths have occurred. The virus seems to originate from Wuhan, China. The disease has been detected in China as well as in Thailand, Japan, the USA and South Korea. China has decided to limit travel to and from the city of Wuhan. It is likely that additional cases in further countries will be detected soon.
The source and routes of transmission of the infection are not yet fully understood. Therefore, it would be prudent to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections while travelling.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. However, most cases are accompanied by rather mild symptoms.
Based on currently available information, WHO does not recommend any restriction of travel or trade beyond Wuhan.
WHO’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses including Corona virus include hand and respiratory hygiene as well as safe food practices:
• Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub;
• Cover your mouth and nose with a medical mask, tissue, or a sleeve or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing;
• Avoid unprotected close contact with anyone developing cold or flu-like symptoms and seek medical care if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing;
• When visiting livestock/wet markets, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces which have been in contact with animals;
• Cook your food, and especially meat, thoroughly.
On Wedenesday WHO experts have meet in Geneva to decide whether a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) should be declared. To date they have not done that as they require further information and facts.
The Indonesian government is aware of the situation and has taken precautionary measures. The ministry of health has issued a circular to all health offices on provincial and municipal levels to increase their alert and readiness in case the virus enters Indonesian territory. Health alert cards [HACs] are handed out to passengers arriving from China and other affected countries to prevent the spread of the infection.
Indonesia’s airports are prepared to initiate health screenings as already practised during the SARS crisis.
The Indonesian Ministry of Health is monitoring the situation and takes appropriate measures where necessary. The ministry of tourism is in close contact with all relevant stakeholders and partners, supporting the ministry of health and the tourism industry to safeguard the people and valued guests of Indonesia.
BHA hotel members have been briefed about the virus as well as detection and prevention measures and take any precautions to ensure guests have a memorable, pleasant and healthy holiday on the island of the Gods.
Additional official information on the virus can be obtained here:
WHO advice for international travel and trade in relation to the outbreak of pneumonia caused by a new coronavirus in China
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