Menu

Coronavirus 2019-nCoV: What You Need to Know

Coronavirus 2019-nCoV: What You Need to Know

December 2019 saw the record of the first cases of pneumonia caused by the previously unknown coronavirus COVID-19 (2019-nCoV) in the Chinese city of Wuhan (Hubei Province). Most likely, the virus has spread from animals to humans and has acquired the ability to transfer from person to person by droplet infection. By February 2020, it managed to reach 4 continents, and the number of confirmed infections reached 79,300, of which about 77,700 in mainland China alone (as of February 24, 2020).

Coronavirus: What Is It?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses transmitted by birds and mammals that cause respiratory infections. In most cases, the infections are mild, however some of the coronaviruses cause severe respiratory infections. Coronaviruses include, in addition to viruses causing common cold, also microorganisms that cause severe SARS and MERS disease.

What are the symptoms of Wuhan coronavirus infection? Alarming is the appearance of fever and fatigue of the body, combined with a decrease in kidney function, diarrhoea, a decrease in the number of white blood cells, as well as a number of symptoms from the respiratory compress - the occurrence of abundant runny nose, sore throat, dry cough and shortness of breath. Coronavirus-induced 2019-nConV disease can affect people of all ages, but older people with chronic diseases have been found to experience a much worse course. The treatment is symptomatic.

How Does Coronavirus Spread?

According to hypotheses, the Wuhan coronavirus is of animal origin and has probably transferred from animals to humans at one of the markets in Wuhan, Hubei Province. Further infections were found quite quickly - this time the germs began to spread between people. Due to high contagiousness, the Chinese authorities decided to separate the cities most affected by the epidemic (including the provincial capital, 11-million Wuhan), as well as construct an isolation hospital, intended only for people who have been infected with coronavirus.

Coronavirus COVID-19 is transferred by droplet infection, and can be easily spread in agglomerations of people, for example by sneezing or coughing. Symptoms appear 2 to 14 days after infection. People who have had direct contact with the sick are most at risk of illness, such as those who help patients in hospitals or meet infected people at work or in public places. On top of that, people returning from the region of the epidemic are at an increased risk group.

How to Avoid COVID-19 Coronavirus Infection?

For this disease, as with other infectious diseases, the best way to avoid infection is strict compliance with hygiene rules. First of all, you should wash your hands with warm soapy water (at least 20 seconds) and avoid contact of unwashed hands with the mucous membrane (eyes, nose, mouth). Furthermore, it is recommended to avoid contact with sick people, as well as take extra care when contacting farm animals. Meat, fish and seafood should treated with heat for a long time (cooking, frying, baking). Following the rules is important because there is currently no vaccine for this type of virus.

The decision to travel to China and Southeast Asia depends on the travellers. All cases of non-Chinese nationality have occurred among those returning from the Far East. If you need to travel to Southeast Asia it is worth checking the terms of travel insurance and making sure that there are no exemptions in the GTC due to staying in the epidemic area.

Can I Rebook or Return My Air Ticket?

When is it possible to rebook or cancel a flight ticket? All depends on what the target or the hub airport is.

Flights to China, and with a transfer in China

If you have flight tickets on routes to China or with a transfer in China, most airlines will allow a return or rebooking of your ticket without additional costs

Example: if you have a flight ticket to Beijing, you can request a change of date or return the ticket at no additional cost. 

Example 2: if you have a flight ticket with a transfer in Beijing, you can request a change of route, change of departure date or return of ticket at no additional cost.

Some airlines also allow a refund or change of ticket as well on routes covering Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Please keep in mind that only part of the lines that have introduced a policy of cost-free returns or changes on routes to China have also included the territories mentioned above.

Note! The possibility of introducing changes applies to flights on specific dates.

Flights to other countries

In the case of tickets for flights to other countries, returns or changes are based on standard conditions of the airline’s tariff

Example: If you have a ticket for a flight to Washington, then a possible ticket return or rebooking will be carried out as standard, in accordance with the policy of the selected airline (usually it is paid extra). The coronavirus outbreak will not affect the procedure.

Example 2: if you have a ticket for a flight to Johannesburg with a transfer in London, then all changes (including changes of the route) and ticket refunds will take place in accordance with the tariff conditions (usually paid extra). The presence of coronavirus does not affect these conditions.

Example 3: if you have the so-called non-refundable ticket for low-cost airlines to London and you want to rebook or cancel the flight, you cannot claim a refund for an unused ticket.

You can find information on the airline policy below.

What Is The Reaction of Airlines To The Coronavirus?

The extent of the disease and the rate of spread of the virus have led airlines which maintain connections with China and neighbouring countries to restrict or suspend flights to this country.

Responses of airlines to the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus:

  • Aeroflot - The airlines allow free changes to your ticket or refund payments for flights to China and Hong Kong that are scheduled for January 24-February 7. Furthermore, the number of flights on routes from Moscow to Beijing and Shanghai has been reduced, and the number of available flights on route between Moscow and Guangzhou has also been reduced until March 28.
  • Air Canada - Suspension of all flights to Beijing and Shanghai until March 27. The lines allow rebooking of tickets or a full refund. Due to smaller demand, the number of flights to Hong Kong has been reduced. Flights to Taipei fly as scheduled.
  • Air China - Airlines have suspended some connections between China and other countries. Air China allows you to cancel your trip with a full refund.
  • Air France - Suspension of all flights to Wuhan until further notice, and to Shanghai and Beijing until March 28. The lines allow you to make changes to tickets or a full refund.
  • Air Mauritius - Suspension of all flights from Mauritius to Hong Kong and Shanghai. The airlines allow rebooking of flights with connecting flights in Hong Kong, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.
  • American Airlines - Cancellation of all flights to and from mainland China until April 24. The lines allow rebooking of tickets or a full refund.
  • British Airways - Cancellation of all flights to and from mainland China until April 17. Passengers whose flights have been cancelled can request a full refund. Restrictions do not apply to flights from and to Hong Kong.
  • Cambodia Angkor Air - Suspension of all flights on the Sihanoukville-Beijing route during February 5-29. Full refund for unused tickets.
  • China Eastern - The ability to opt out of travel to China with a full refund.
  • China Southern - Suspension of flights on the Moscow-Shenzhen route until March 26. The airlines raise the awareness of passengers about the need to undergo more stringent airport security procedures and ask for wearing masks on aircrafts.
  • Delta Air Lines - Suspension of all flights to and from China from February 2 to April 30. The airlines allow passengers to change their tickets or get a full refund for flights to Beijing or Shanghai until April 30.
  • Emirates - Suspension of all flights to Shanghai and Guangzhou until further notice. All flights to Beijing fly as scheduled. The airlines allow cancellation or change of tickets without additional fees.
  • Etihad - Suspension of all flights to Shanghai and reduction of available flights to Chengdu. Suspension of all flights to Hong Kong until March 28. Flights to Beijing fly as scheduled.
  • EVA Air - Maintains connections to China, Hong Kong, and Macau, but uses additional security measures on board aircraft, including the use of masks by the crew, the use of protective gloves and increased control of the condition of HEPA air filters. In addition, the menu on aircrafts was limited to reduce the risk of the disease spreading.
  • Finnair - Suspension of all flights Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Nanjing until March 28. Reduction of available flights to Hong Kong until March 28. At the passenger's request, the airlines can refund the entire amount for airline tickets.
  • Hong Kong Airlines – Suspension of all flights to Chengdu, Chongqing, Guiyang, Sanya, Hangzhou, and Nanjing until March 28. Additionally, suspension of all flights to Hanoi, Malé, Okayama, Yonago, Kagoshima, Incheon, and Seoul until March 28. Reduction of available flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Haikou, Bangkok, Denpasar, Okinawa, Osaka, Sapporo, Tokyo, and Taipei until March 28. The airline allows cancellation and change of tickets on flights to and from the aforementioned airports,  as well as flights to and from these airports connecting through Hong Kong.
  • KLM - Suspension of all flights to Chengdu, Hangzhou, and Xiamen until March 29. Suspension of all flights to Shanghai and Beijing until March 28. The airlines allow cancellation or change of tickets without additional fees.
  • LOT - Suspension of all flights to and from China between January 31 and March 28. Passengers who have tickets for flights up until March 28 (bought before January 27, 2020) can change their departure date or cancel their tickets without additional fees.
  • Lufthansa - Suspension of Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Shenyang, and Qingdao until March 28. Reduction of available flights to Hong Kong in March 2020. Passengers on cancelled flights may rebook tickets or request a refund.
  • Malaysia Airlines - Suspension of all flights on between Kota Kinabalu and Shanghai until further notice. Reduction of available flights from Kuala Lumpur to Shanghai, and from Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and Hong Kong. 
  • Qatar Airways - Suspension of all flights to and from mainland China from February 3. Passengers whose flights are cancelled can rebook their tickets for free or receive a full refund.
  • S7 - Suspension of all flights from and to China and Hong Kong until March 28. Full refund of purchased tickets.
  • SAS - Suspension of flights to and from Beijing and Shanghai between January 31 and March 29. The lines allow rebooking or refund of tickets. Flights to Hong Kong are performed as scheduled.
  • Turkish Airlines - Suspension of all flights from and to China until February 29. Option to rebook or refund the ticket.
  • United Airlines - Suspension of flights to China between February 5 and April 24. The line allows you to make changes to your ticket or cancel.
  • Vietnam Airlines - Option to change the ticket or obtain a refund for flights from and to China from January 24.
  • Virgin Atlantic - Suspension of flights to and from China until March 29. Option to change your travel date or get a full refund.

 

The tips and suggestions in this article and related articles are for informational purposes only and may not constitute the basis for any claim against eSky.ie.

Interested but need more info?
Thank you for your help

Your feedback will help us create better and more relevant articles

Temporarily we could not send your suggestions

Send again Try later