You may have heard about the outbreak of the coronavirus that news outlets have been covering lately. Should you be worried? Before you think of cancelling your flight booking, make sure you have all the facts. With that in mind, we unpack everything you need to know about the coronavirus.
What is the coronavirus?
Coronavirus refers to a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
The current news revolves around a new coronavirus, which has come to be known by the designation COVID-19. It was first reported in Wuhan City, China, and there have been reports of it in other countries. It was transmitted through contact with livestock and dead animals in the markets in Wuhan City initially and later via infected individuals.
General safety tips
You can’t always assume someone has contracted the new coronavirus if they start coughing or sneezing suddenly. However, to be sure, there are ways you can protect yourself.
- Wash your hands thoroughly throughout the day with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or a cough.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
- Stay away from markets selling live animals and avoid unprotected contact with animals.
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked foods. Use different boards and utensils for raw and cooked foods.
- If you wear a facemask, make surer to cover your mouth and nose and avoid touching the mask when it’s on.
- Throw away single-use facemasks immediately after use and wash your hands immediately afterwards.
If you develop a fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing, take note of the following:
- Seek medical attention immediately and share your previous travel history with your healthcare provider.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or flexed elbow – throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands.
- Avoid spitting in public.
- Avoid close contact with other people to prevent infection.
- Do not travel if you start developing the symptoms for the coronavirus.
What to expect at the airport?
Travellers arriving from outside Nigeria to Nigerian airports are now being screened.
You will need to be prepared for routine quarantine checks at the airport.
Safety tips for Travelers
It is in airlines’ interest to limit crew and passengers’ exposure to coronavirus. Airlines have enacted enhanced sanitization programmes including:
High-touch surfaces such as tray tables, handsets and inflight entertainment screens are cleaned with disinfectant wipes.
All headsets, headrest covers, pillow covers, bed sheets and blankets are replaced after every flight sector.
Advanced air filtration systems such as High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters ensure cabin air is disinfected. Constant airflow ensures that the cabin air is refreshed every two to three minutes.
The crew are subject to pre-flight temperature screening.
Do you need to travel or have an existing flight booking in the coming weeks or months?
Your assistance is our top priority and we will do everything we can to support you through this time. Read below for updated airline information and how to travel safely should you wish to continue with your trip.
Travel safe with your one-stop travel shop. Please visit our dedicated Travel Safe page for the latest airline updates and FAQs.
Find out about the latest announcements regarding visas and ports of entry by visiting the IATA Travel Centre.
Make sure to stay updated on your flight status.