Recently, the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has released several sets of guidelines for the upcoming events and festivities during the holiday season. Traveling is the topic that has been emphasized the most out of all due to the high risk of spread in public transport in all of the countries.
As the number of people returning to their homes and families as well as global travelers are bound to increase within the next few weeks, the chances of multiple coronavirus outbreaks are very high. This is why the CDC is recommending people to delay their holiday plans and consider some factors before traveling.
For those who are at high risk themselves or have family members that belong to the high-risk groups, traveling is not recommended. The prevalence of coronavirus in the area of departure and the destination is another important factor to consider.
If either one of the areas has a high number of new infections, it is likely that the virus can be contracted and spread elsewhere by a person who chooses to travel.
Even if traveling is absolutely necessary and plans have been finalized, it is generally advised to take all of the suggested coronavirus precautions including wearing a mask, carrying hand sanitizer, maintaining distance whenever possible, and completely avoiding physical contact.
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In public transport, following coronavirus guidelines can be particularly difficult especially in crowded subways, buses, and trains. However, the riskiest form of transport, contrary to popular belief, are actually cruises in comparison with all others.
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the use of cruise had actually been reduced significantly because of their connection with a huge number of early coronavirus cases. In fact, around fifty percent of the coronavirus cases in mid-Feburary were linked to a single cruise ship known as the ‘Diamond princess’.
According to the World Hundred Organization, Diamond princess had over three thousand passengers on board out of which hundreds tested positive for the coronavirus infection. Therefore, the ship remained in isolation for a period of time in Japan.
After the cruises were seen to have a particularly high risk of coronavirus spread, several restrictions were imposed on them around the world. Under CDC’s guidelines, cruises with over two hundred and fifty passengers were also banned in the US.
Even after restrictions, many of the cases were linked back to cruises. In March, the CDC reported that over eight hundred new infections were spread by three different cruises.
However, health experts state that ships and cruises do not only spread the coronavirus infection but also a number of other viral health issues due to the onboard health conditions. Prior to the pandemic, other infection outbreaks including E. Coli, influenza, norovirus, and chickenpox have also been common on ships.
It is easier for infections and pathogens to spread on a ship rather than any other form of public transport because of the lack of distancing onboard. Most of the time, the passengers are unable to maintain a healthy distance from each other.
In addition, the hygienic conditions of the ships vary depending on the company but at many times, they are not up to the standard, leading to the creation of an ideal environment for the spread of illnesses. This is why people should also avoid planning cruise trips in the holiday season as well as till the time the risk of coronavirus remains high.