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Tips for Safe Traveling Abroad in the Corona Virus Outbreak

By Isny Dewi R

26 February 2020

Ways to traveling abroad safely and comfortably in the midst of the corona virus outbreak.

Corona virus or known as COVID-19 which is currently endemic globally is causing concern for many people, including Indonesians. No doubt, many Indonesians are afraid to go abroad. They decided to cancel and ask for refund for the tour packages and plane tickets that were booked.

According to the Secretary General of Astindo Pauline Suharno, many people who requested refund occurred because they were very afraid of being affected by the corona virus. In addition, many hoax also trigger misunderstandings about the corona virus. Dr. Dr. Erlina Burhan, MSc Sp.P (K), a doctor from the Department of Pulmonology and Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia and Friendship Hospital, agreed on that.

Erlina explained that actually there are still a number of ways that people could do so they could still be traveling safely and comfortably in the midst of the corona virus outbreak. What are those?

1. Avoid Hoax
Since the rise of news about the corona virus, more and more hoax are circulating. You are asked to be clever in accepting and believing news. Verify whether the source that provides the information is credible or not. To be sure, you can check information about the corona virus through the Indonesian Ministry of Health's Instagram account @kemenkes_ri. Don't forget to do research about the country you want to go to. Is the country safe from corona virus or not.

2. Use Mask
Wherever you are, you should always use a mask to protect yourself and others. Not only to avoid the corona virus, but also when you are sick like a cold or cough to prevent others from getting infected.

"Corona virus infects the airway. So it can be transmitted through droplets of human saliva that comes out when talking, sneezing, or coughing. It is better to wear a mask everywhere because the mask inside absorbs water, can absorb droplets that come out," explained dr. Erlina quoted from

It would be better if you use a surgical mask and an N95 mask with a filter. The mask is considered the most effective. The outer part of the surgical mask which is green is waterproof, so that the droplets of the disease attached to the mask will not be inhaled by others. Using a mask when in crowd is also highly recommended, especially when at the airport, station, or mall.

3. Hand Washing
Apart from droplets, the corona virus can also be transmitted through personal contact. Touching hands or touching anything where there is corona virus attached, then the hand touches the nose, mouth, or eyes, from there the corona enters your body.

To prevent this, the best thing you should do is wash your hands diligently. According to dr. Erlina, hand washing is the best prevention key. Always carry travel size hand sanitizer that is practical and can be used without having to use water. Use when before eating, after touching the face area, and strange objects.

4. Pay Attention to Food Hygiene and Maturity
According to dr. Erlina, the right cooking process will greatly help eliminate the potential for corona virus transmission from food. "If you eat meat, try to cook it until it's cooked. Steak for example, if you usually like medium rare, just ask for a well done so it is safe," suggested dr. Erlina. You should really apply this while on holiday abroad, especially to countries that like to serve extreme and raw foods such as Thailand and Vietnam.

5. Check Your Health and Body Temperature Routinely
One symptom of corona virus is high fever. So, while traveling, it never hurts to regularly check your health, including your body temperature. You can bring your own thermometer during traveling to easily monitor your body temperature. Don't forget to bring your personal medicines, take vitamins regularly, and get enough rest and sleep. If the body feels uncomfortable and unusual pain, consult to a doctor immediately.

6. Follow the Authority Appeals
The authority here can means Indonesian government or the government of the country you are visiting. In the midst of a corona outbreak as it is today, the government of the country you are visiting may provide information regarding current conditions and status in that country. Is it still safe from corona or not. If there is already a corona virus affected, how to handle it. Is the country still safe for tourists.

For example, Chinese government has now closed all of their attractions. Then Singapore raised its status to orange (meaning the disease is severe with transmission. Has moderate to high public health impacts), and Indonesian government has issued travel guides to postpone trips to Singapore.

If there is already a travel warning not to go on vacation to a country, then undo your intention to go to that country and replace the destination of another country. But, if there is no specific appeals or travel warning, then there is no need to be afraid of traveling abroad.

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