In just three weeks, a new pneumonia-like virus outbreak has spread to a global threat, with hundreds of cases worldwide and at least two cases in the U.S. confirmed, across a wildlife market in Central China. To this day, the coronavirus caused at least two dozen deaths and prompted the Chinese government in 12 cities, including Wuhan, the 11-million city from where the virus started, until effectively shut down movement.
Chinese Virus Outbreak Impacts Lunar New Year Travel
The outbreak is expected to crisscross China for around 3 billion travelers over the 15-day period, known as the world’s largest annual human migration, with January 25 marking the beginning of the Lunar New Year. The world health organization has not declared a global public health emergency, but is appropriate to concern foreign experts. It is not shocking that many Chinese have already cancelled their holiday plans, while international airports have adopted screening initiatives.
In the midst of the SARS crisis, China’s domestic tourism growth first turned negative in a decade in 2003, after growing 12 per cent in 2002. Authority steps to limit human traffic to and from Wuhan have been revealed. The Chinese government announces on Tuesday that airline refunds should be processed free of charge on flights to the city. China Southern Airlines has a cumulative Wuhan share of approximately 3 per cent between the three main Chinese airlines. China Eastern Airlines ‘ domestic capacity for Wuhan is 2.2%, while Air China’s capacity is 1.3%, In fact, the analysis showed that Air China earnings are the least sensitive to a 1% change in domestic traffic volume, at 5.1%, while China Southern Airlines had roughly double the impact at 10.8%.
Wuhan Coronavirus in Malaysia, Australia and Nepal
Wuhan, China, has reported its latest coronavirus to have spread to Malaysia and its first three cases have been announced by the Southeast Asian nation. They are all Chinese – a mother and her two grandkids. In Singapore, the first infected person reported the female’s partner, a 66-year-old grandfather of the young child.
The Malaysian authorities have been alerted to the family of the man from the city-state by their counterpart in Singapore. Now in the isolation and observation ward in Sungai Buloh there are the grandmother and the two young children.
Australia also revealed on Saturday that it had its first confirmed virus case. In a hospital in Melbourne, a Chinese man who was in Wuhan last Sunday, and was flown from Guangzheu, in his 50s, was “stable.”
Nepal media announced, that the first case in South Asia was an infected man in his 30s. On January 5 the Nepalese man came back from Wuhan. He’s in a stable state as well.
Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, France, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau have been also affected by confirmed cases of new coronavirus.
The Ministry of Health of Japan revealed the third confirmed case in the country on Saturday. The patient was a Wuhan woman who came into Japan on Jan. 18 in her 30s. By Tuesday night, she’s had a fever. The woman said she had not visited the Wuhan market for seafood, considered as the starting point to the outbreak, according to the Ministry. It was unclear as early as Saturday if she was in close contact in China with others.
In its situation report on Friday, the World Health Organization reported that one confirmed case in Vietnam indicates “an instance of human-to-human transmission.” The person had no history of traveling to any part of China, but according to the WHO, was a family member of the Wuhan-infected person.
This is considered to be the first infection that happens outside of China among men.
The death toll in China has risen to 41; 1.287 cases have been confirmed. On Saturday, Chinese media announced that a Wuhan doctor was dead because of the virus. Wuhan is under quarantine and over a dozen towns.
How is this impacting air and sea travel?
Air travelers from China, particularly those who went to Wuhan, expect their temperatures to be monitored. In the U.S., the CDC has screened travelers in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta from Wuhan at key airports. The Associated Press has a wide range of international airports for screening.
Even affected are cruise lines. The International Business Times reports that Costa Cruises and Astro Ocean both intend to provide compensation for travelers with fever or coronavirus diagnosis. The International Business Times reports Norwegian Cruise Line is now screening and refusing entry to any person who is on the way to Wuhan for the last 30 days or has a body temperature of 100,4 degrees Fahrenheit and above from Chinese ports.
What about future travel?
China has ordered the suspension of domestic and international tours by all travel agencies. But if you book your own reservation, it is vital that new information is made clear in your travel plans.