The Australian government has issued advisory for its citizens to reconsider overseas travel when the coronavirus has become a major concern globally. Smartraveller, provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, urged everyone, regardless of destination, age or health, to reconsider the overseas travel if it’s not essential.
The government portal stated the principal reasons for issuing the advisory saying there may be a higher risk of contracting the novel coronavirus disease overseas. According to the travel advisory, the Australian nationals may come in contact with more people than usual in crowded airports and during long-haul flights.
“Health care systems in some countries may come under strain and may not be as well-equipped as Australia’s or have the capacity to support foreigners,” the advisory read.
Another reason mentioned in the advisory was the increased complexity and unpredictability of overseas travel. It stated that many countries have started implementing travel restrictions and the guidelines are changing frequently which can disrupt the travel plan. It further warned that overseas travellers may be placed under quarantine or denied entry in some foreign countries.
“You may need to self-quarantine on return to Australia. Think about what this might mean for your health, and your family, work or study responsibilities,” said the advisory.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), which has declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, reported over 125,000 cases worldwide with the death toll nearing 5000. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that describing it as a pandemic does not mean that countries should give up.
“The idea that countries should shift from containment to mitigation is wrong and dangerous,” said Ghebreyesus during a press briefing on March 12.
Europe has been witnessing a dramatic rise in the COVID-19 cases with Italy reporting the most number of deaths after China. While the death toll in China due to the pandemic remains the highest, the rate has considerably declined in the past week. According to the latest report, 21 new cases of coronavirus and eight more deaths related to it have been confirmed in China.