How is COVID Affecting Countries?
Countries Travel Updates To Be Aware Of With COVID
When the novel coronavirus outbreak was first reported in China in mid-December, few people would have thought that it would escalate to a global pandemic. This virus causes a respiratory disease (now called COVID-19), which closely resembles the flu. The origin of coronavirus is due to the host animal, bats. This is how the virus mutates and eventually was caught by humans. The Chinese wet markets in Wuhan is where the first infection is thought to have occurred.
As a large city of close to 11 million people, Wuhan quickly began to see a spike in COVID-19 cases. This eventually resulted in a snowball effect where the virus spread through travel and inter-personal contact. With travel and trade occurring daily, the virus found its way outside China and to the rest of the world.
But what impact has COVID-19 had on other countries, the global economy, and travel?
Effect of COVID-19 on different countries
The novel coronavirus has now infected over 190,000 people in roughly 100 countries. The global death toll stands at 7900- with China, Iran, and 3 European countries being hit the heaviest by COVID-19. But how did we get to this point in less than 3 months? Lack of swift action, an attempted cover-up during early stages, and extensive travel allowed for infections to spread rapidly and within a brief period. Each country has experienced a unique set of circumstances when dealing with COVID-19.
Learn how countries are responding to the recent global pandemic:
With the start of the first outbreak in Wuhan (in the Hubei province of China), doctors in the region reported the spread of a respiratory illness that’s similar to SARS (the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome of 2002). There was an initial period of denial (and attempts to cover up) by the Chinese government. However, the rapid spread and infection rate sparked extensive action during the first few weeks of January. Wuhan was essentially placed under lockdown, and movement in and out of the city was severely limited.
China also deployed an additional 200,000 health workers to help provide treatment and other services to the affected region.
Italy has been the worst-hit country in the world after China. By mid-March, there were over 31,000 confirmed cases and a death toll of over 2,500 people. Italy’s delayed response and porous borders may have accelerated the spread of the virus over the past 2 months. In an attempt to deal with the situation, Italy has imposed a country-wide lock down.
Shops, restaurants, and bars are now closed; and only essential movement is being permitted. Furthermore, Italy has turned warehouses and other similar spaces into make-shift hospitals for treating the overflow of COVID-19 patients.
Spain, France, and the rest of Europe
In the beginning of March, signs of heavy infections were in Spain and France. Spain has imposed restrictions on movement in Madrid and other parts of the country to slow down the spread of COVID-19. In Madrid (where the outbreak is highest in Spain), restaurants, bars and cafes have been closed (except for takeout and delivery). Many European countries (such as Germany and Austria) have closed their shared borders with France, Italy, and Spain. Critics expects that these restrictions will remain tight as the pandemic infects more people in the coming months.
The United States currently has 4200 cases and close to 80 deaths. Public Health officials expect the number to keep rising as testing becomes more widespread across the country. For critics, the U.S is reacting slowly to the outbreak causing backlash. Obtaining testing kits are slow and expensive for healthcare providers. Personal protective equipment and ventilators are also to be in short supply.
However, many actions at the federal and state levels are following protocol to slow the spread of the virus. With the declaring of a national state of Emergency, this was able to free up as much as $50 billion. At the same time, the government suspended all travel from European countries for 30 days (as from Friday, March 13th but excluding the arrival of American residents).
Various states have also implemented their responses to the virus. K-12 schools have been suspended across most of the country, while New York, Ohio, Colorado, New Jersey & many others have shut down bars and restaurants (except for takeout and deliveries).
Travel Restrictions you should be aware of
As COVID-19 cases continue to grow daily, travel; restrictions are evolving just as quickly. It helps to be mindful of how this pandemic might impact travel requirements during the coming months. Here’s what you should know as of now:
- Travel from Europe to the United States is on suspension for 30 days (except for citizens and residents)
- Non-residents arriving to the U.S. from China or Iran (and were in those countries within the past 14 days) will not be allowed entry
- Canadians are advising to avoid non-essential travel outside the country
- The U.K has advised its citizens against non-essential travel to the United States and other COVID-19 hot zones
The spread of COVID 19 has also affected cruise ship travel. Many cruises across the globe have been suspended for the next few months– including the famous Viking and Diamond Princess cruises. Cruise ships have been a hot zone for spreading the virus, mainly because most travelers are older adults who are over 65 years old. The CDC recommends that people avoid all non-essential travel on cruise ships.
VSQ Travel on COVID
We know at VSQ Travel that new travel updates are consistently being changed and updated. As we continue to follow this outbreak, we know we want to keep all of our followers and consumers as safe as possible. We must do our part to make sure this pandemic ends as soon as possible. As we continue to stay put, we can always plan where we want to go in our futures. By doing our part, we soon can be packing our bags onto our next adventure. Make sure to keep up with us at www.VSQTravel.com and follow us on social media as we continue to day-dream about our next adventure. #VirtualTraveler