Should I Cancel China Travel

The Coronavirus Risk of China Travel

China had reported over 83,000 cases of the new coronavirus as of February 2020, with over 3,000 reported deaths. The Chinese government is taking drastic efforts to contain the deadly virus, but the risk of China travel is still severe. The Chinese government has implemented numerous travel restrictions as well as closed public places and entertainment venues in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. In many areas, the government has also imposed quarantines and lockdowns requiring citizens to remain indoors and away from crowds.
While China is aggressively working to contain the virus’ spread, health experts urge caution and advise people to think carefully before travelling to the country. Dr. Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine and member of the World Health Organization team in China, warns that it is still possible to contract the virus while travelling. He says that although the risk of cross-country transmission is low, travelers should be proactive in their own safety: “Given the size and complexity of the outbreak in China, it is impossible to guarantee a risk-free situation.”
Public health experts agree that not travelling to China would be the safest option, particularly for those who are elderly, have chronic medical conditions, or have weakened immune systems. Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, suggests putting all non-essential travel plans on hold if the destination is a place known to be affected by the virus.
For those who plan on travelling to China despite the risks, it is important to take preventive steps. The Centers for Disease Control recommends bringing a supply of alcohol-based hand sanitizer and using it frequently to reduce the risk of infection. It is also important to maintain basic hygiene practices such as avoiding contact with sick people and washing hands thoroughly with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds.

China’s Measures to Contain the Virus

The Chinese government has taken extensive measures to contain the virus in the country. All individuals entering the country are now required to undergo medical screening and provide health certificates. Public entertainment venues have been shut down, while some public sites and scenic spots remain closed. Other measures include quarantines for anyone suspected of having the virus, strict travel restrictions, and government-subsidized treatment for infected patients.
China has also invested heavily in public education and outreach campaigns to spread awareness about the virus and encourage people to adopt preventive measures. The government has worked hard to set up prevention and control networks with local communities, medical community, health inspection bureaus, and governments across the world. Doctors, nurses, and medical teams have been dispatched to hotspot areas to treat and monitor infected patients.

Travel Insurance for China

Some travel insurance policies offer coverage for medical costs related to coronavirus, while others only provide coverage for cancellations and not medical expenses. It is important to read the fine print on the policy to make sure that it is comprehensive and covers all the necessary expenses. It is also important to check if the policy will cover medical emergency evacuation in case the situation worsens.

Pros and Cons of Cancelling China Travel

On the one hand, those who decide to cancel their trips to China would be protecting themselves and their families from increased risk of infection. Despite the measures taken by the Chinese government, the risk of infection is still high, and not travelling to the country is always the safest option.
On the other hand, by not travelling to China people will be losing out on experiences and opportunities that they may not be able to experience again in the future. Cancelling a much-anticipated trip can be emotionally taxing, and the financial losses as a result of cancellations might be too much for some to bear.

Capable of Going?

If people are financially and emotionally capable of going, they should first consult their doctor and stay up to date with all the latest travel advisories. While travelling to China might not be as safe as travelling to other countries at present, there are still ways to reduce the risk of infection. Those who are still intent on travelling to China should consider rescheduling the trip for a later time when the risk of infection is lower.

What to Do When in China

Those who do decide to travel to China should monitor their health closely and take certain preventive measures. People should avoid contact with sick people and wear face masks in public places. When outdoors they should stay at least one meter away from other people and avoid large crowds. People should also be wary of people who show symptoms such as coughing or sneezing.
While in China, travellers should practice good hygiene and handwashing to reduce their risk of infection. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after coming into contact with people or objects should be done frequently. People should also avoid contact with live animals and animal markets, as these are believed to be the source of the virus.

Minimizing Financial Losses

Before travelling to China, people should always check the validity period of their visas, insurance policies, and other documents. They should also get travel insurance to cover any potential financial losses. Booking refundable flights and accommodation would also be beneficial in case the risk of infection is high.

Bank Transfers and Payments

When transferring or receiving payments, it is important to use secure payment methods such as bank transfers. Credit cards should only be used as a last resort as they are more prone to fraud. People should also be aware of any suspicious activities and report them to the authorities.

Keep Updated on the Situation in China

Finally, it is important to stay up to date with the latest information about the virus and the situation in China. The World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and local Chinese embassies are great sources of information. The Chinese embassy in the traveller’s home country should also be consulted for the latest travel advisories.

John Melendez

John J. Melendez is a journalist, author, and commentator specializing in Chinese culture, politics, and international relations. He is a frequent guest on radio and television programs, and is the author of several books on Chinese culture and politics. He currently resides in Beijing, China.

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