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The present Diamond Princess cruise ship with coronavirus outbreak has urged us to revisit our travel checklist when visiting any country.
Travel advisories are of four types -
- Level 1 in all countries (Exercise normal standard hygiene precautions)
- Level 2 in all affected countries (Exercise a high degree of caution)
- Level 3 in all countries with secondary cases (Reconsider need to travel)
- Level 4 in affected parts of China and Korea (Do not travel)
- Keep the possibility of being quarantined for 14 days in any country.
- Carry at least 20 days extra essential medicines stock.
- Always keep the passport, kept in a plastic pouch, in a safe front pocket with you in case you need to leave the country in emergency.
- Always carry your medicines’ authentic prescription with you with generic names of the drugs.
- Always carry some dry fruits with you.
- Always book a refundable air ticket even if they are 10% costlier.
- Always carry a photocopy of passport and visa.
- Always get travel insurance. Remember most standard policies wont cover you for Do not travel destinations.
- Understand that you could die. Make sure you have an up-to-date will and an abiding power of attorney. Designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries.
- Never travel to countries with level 4 warnings (Do not travel), like for Wuhan in China.
- For level 3 warning (like currently India for Singapore), travel only if must, and minimize time spent in airports by scheduling direct flights, if possible. Avoid stopovers at high-risk airports. Stay for as short a time as possible. Eliminate unnecessary activities.
- Leave an area at the first sign of unrest, or if you feel uneasy.
Dr KK Aggarwal
President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA