Have you booked a trip to the mystical lands of Peru? Are you thinking of traveling, but you are not so sure anymore? Lately, with the information blitz, it’s understandable to feel a little paranoid and hesitate to cancel our plans. That is why Machu Travel Peru decided to inform yourselves about the matter and clarify some basic things about COVID-19.
WHY IS IT NAMED CORONAVIRUS?
First, we have to understand why this particular name has been given to it. To begin, Coronavirus is called that way because of the Spanish word Corona which means “crown.” The shape of the virus resembles a crown and therefore the name. It should be mentioned that coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause disease in animals and humans. In humans, it is more likely to cause respiratory infections. These can range from a simple cold to serious problems such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
WHAT IS COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the newly discovered Coronavirus. Both the virus and the disease were unknown until the outbreak originated in Wuhan, China.
HOW IS IT TRANSMITTED?
The virus is transmitted person to person through contact of droplets. These droplets can land on contact surfaces or on us, making contagion possible. Also, note that surface droplets do not survive too long. The contagion is possible by touching these infected surfaces and then bringing the hands to the face or any risk area. Anyone breathing these droplets is also at risk to become infected. That is why it is important to be one meter or more from an infected person. As long as we are careful, there shouldn’t be problems
SHOULD I CANCEL MY TRAVEL PLANS?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there should be no restrictions on travel or exchange of goods. The risk of contracting the virus is very low in many countries. Travelers should not cancel their trips, but they do have to take into account the restrictions that some airlines are taking when we plan for our future trips.
Some governments take extreme measures regarding events being canceled to give people a general sense of security. Lately, with so much sensationalism on media, people may not feel comfortable to resume activities freely. But the WHO informs us that we should not cancel our trips, just to be careful with our hygiene and so on.
TRAVELING INTERNATIONALLY IS DANGEROUS?
Because the risk of contracting this virus is relatively low in most countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) has not issued any restrictions on travel, only sanitary prevention measures.
IS THE AIRCRAFT CABIN DANGEROUS?
The WHO says that the cabin of any plane is not a helpful environment for spreading the infection. The virus is transmitted through secretions and not through the air. It only lives on surfaces for short periods of approximately 30 minutes. You can rest easy knowing that the airlines have established procedures that help prevent the spread of disease in the event that someone on board is infected.
IS IT REALLY WEAKER THAN THE FLU?
There are an estimated 1 billion cases of influenza worldwide, while there are only over 140,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. In most cases, you are much more likely to find someone with the flu than with COVID-19.
The flu kills over 640,000 people annually while COVID-19 has more than 5,000 confirmed deaths. If we compare it with the old outbreaks that have happened in the past, it does not have such a high mortality rate either. For example, the MERS, which occurred in 2012, had a rate of 34%, while the SARS, which occurred in 2003, had a rate of 10%. COVID-19 has a mortality rate of 3.4%. With all of this in mind, as long as we are cautious with our personal hygiene, there is not much to worry about.
HOW TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROM THE VIRUS:
- Wash our hands constantly and for more than 20 seconds. There are several videos online that give you an idea of what an ideal hand cleaning is. It does not take much time to check them for preventive measures.
- Avoid contact with infected people. Have a distance of at least 1 meter from anyone infected or suspected to be. We are taking sanitary measures, let’s not be embarrassed to take our distance. Also, when greeting someone, let’s try to avoid shaking hands, kissing or hugging.
- It is also ideal to avoid touching our mouth, nose or eyes. Let’s keep our hands away from our entire face since we can transfer these viruses to risky areas such as the mouth and eyes. These places are perfect nests for the multiplication of viruses.
- Cook our meals completely. Also, try to have a balanced and healthy diet to complement these measures. This situation can be a good start to start taking care of our diet.
We hope that this little article has been able to clarify some things. Machu Travel Peru wishes that whatever your decision may be, you continue with your adventurous spirit. May these situations not frighten us regarding our greatest traveling wishes.
WHO advice for international traffic in relation to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV with Dr. Carmen Dolea, Head, IHR Secretariat at the World Health Organization
Peru has so much to offer, it can be hard to know where to start. With many years of experience in the tourism sector, Machu Travel Peru is happy to help with anything regarding your trip to Peru and any tours around it. Make your travel experience an unforgettable one!