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March 2020    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 35, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Coronavirus – Will it Affect Your Dive Travel Plans?

some thoughts to help you decide whether to embark

from the March, 2020 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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In mid-February, diver Saeed Rashid went to his doctor in southern England with an irritating cough. When he explained he'd just returned from running an underwater photography course in Lembeh, Indonesia and flown home via Singapore, he was immediately sent to a special unit in his local hospital where he was met by people in HazMat suits and tested for coronavirus. Told to self-quarantine, he was sent home. Days later, similarly dressed medics arrived to tell him he'd tested negative. It was typical of similar stories now occurring throughout the Western World, though not everyone gets good news.

This novel corona virus, officially called SARS-CoV-2 by WHO, the World Health Organization - WHO has labelled the resultant the disease COVID-19 -- has spread to 58 or more countries besides China, where it originated. Many small island nations where we divers visit have limited resources and would encounter great difficulty coping medically with such an outbreak, so some, like Micronesia, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands have taken precautions by banning entry by anyone from China, and, some cases, anyone in who visited a country with such where an infection as occurred within 14 days.

For example, Micronesia has banned travelers from the UK and the Solomon Islands says it immediately quarantines UK travelers. It's hard to imagine such a ban on American travelers, but just a few weeks ago any ban was unmanageable....

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