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Travel veteran Simon Calder says journeys to China still safe despite coronavirus outbreak

A travel expert has said that travelling to China is still safe, as long as you practice “good travel hygiene”.

Cases have been confirmed in China, the US, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Macao, Taiwan, Vietnam, and France.

Fears are growing that increased travel expected over the Lunar New Year period this weekend could aid the spread.

But just how worried should travellers to China be?

Mr Calder advised practising basic hygiene while visiting mainland China (The Evening Standard)

The Independent’s senior travel editor Simon Calder told The Evening Standard that, for most people, the coronavirus isn’t fatal.

“It doesn’t actually cause much harm to the average person, but unfortunately, a number of people have contracted the virus, developed pneumonia, and died, but they tend to be people who are elderly, frail, and have pre-existing conditions”, he said.

“That means that unless you fall into one of those categories, it is unlikely that the virus will kill you.”

The Chinese government has set out to buld a hospital in 5 days(Getty Images)

The veteran reporter said that as long as traveller’s adhere to good hygiene standards they should be able to avoid contracting the virus.

“The best precaution for anybody travelling to China, to anywhere in Asia, indeed anywhere in the world, is to practice good travel hygiene, and that’s very straightforward it just means scrupulously washing your hands with soap, particularly after you have been in contact with things that other people have touched.

“It means if you see someone who is not looking well, then just avoid them, and with food and drink just be wary about, for example, undercooked meat and don’t eat it.

“I personally become a vegetarian when i am in interesting parts of the world.

“So just take very basic precautions and the overwhelming odds are that you will be fine.”

A health officer (L) screens arriving passengers from China in Singapore (AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Calder’s advice comes as two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in France.

One of the people, a 48-year-old man, passed through Wuhan, the epicentre in China for the virus, before travelling to France on Wednesday, the minister said.

That person is in hospital in the south-western city of Bordeaux.

The other person is in hospital in Paris.


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