UPDATED: April 8, 2020
Following the WHO’s declaration of a global public health emergency in January and the fact that Covid-19 is now considered a pandemic outbreak, we at Kaya are following the progress of the situation to ensure we support our in-country teams and our participants as the situation develops. Our thoughts go out to all those affected by the illness.
Read Kaya official statement regarding the Coronavirus Outbreak here
Find out about the changes we have made for anyone considering joining a future Kaya program once current challenges are overcome here.
On Feb 27 the World Health Organization and World Tourism Organization have released a joint statement – this can be found here.
It is a call for responsible handling of the outbreak, and warns that “Travel restrictions… may cause unnecessary interference with international traffic, including negative repercussions on the tourism sector.”
As an organisation that encourages global travel, and works with projects around the world in areas that rely on tourism and volunteers, we encourage people to educate themselves about the recent coronavirus, especially any travel restrictions and safety measures. It is important to understand the situation in relation to the risk level.
Currently, Kaya is suspending all our programs to China in 2020 and will track the situation in hope of a swift containment and cure of the virus before the end of the year.
At this time, some of Kaya locations are affected by travel bans and restrictions, but our risk assessment team is vigilant, and keeping up-to-date with what is happening around the world. As we speak to participants, we inform them of the additional screenings and route restrictions to ensure their travels are the least affected. As there is a lot of uncertainty at this time as to how this pandemic will spread, how long it will take to contain and how governments around the world will implement additional travel bans, we will be tracking and sharing up-to-date information here to keep you informed on the situation.
Working with institutions across the US and Europe, we can confirm we are following all the current recommended practises of educational and volunteer travel to ensure we are eventually still able to continue in our important work at our locations without exposing our participants to unnecessary risk.
Situation At Home
As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with travel and border restrictions, both the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the U.S. Department of State advises British and American nationals against all but essential international travel. Indeed, with the current pandemic situation, any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in either the United Kingdom or the United States and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from arriving or leaving. Many other countries have followed suit in this advice, including Australia and most European countries.
- On March 11th, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced COVID-19 as an official global pandemic.
- On Jan 30th, the WHO declared a public health emergency, which makes it a legal duty for countries to respond with action to contain or tackle the outbreak at a local level.
- Kaya locations report the following (April 8, 2020 – numbers reported by WHO) :
AFRICA – South Africa 1686 cases. Morocco 1141 cases. Ghana 214 cases. Kenya 142 cases. Uganda 52 cases. Zambia 39 cases. Tanzania 39 cases. Namibia 16 cases. Mozambique 10 cases. Eswatini 9 cases. Zimbabwe 9 cases. Across Africa, screening of all arrivals is happening in most locations.
LATIN AMERICA – Brazil 12056 cases. Ecuador 3747 cases. Peru 2561 cases. Costa Rica 467 cases. Bolivia 194 cases. Jamaica 59 cases. Belize 7 cases.
ASIA – China 83157 cases. India 4421 cases. Malaysia 3793 cases. Philippines 3963 cases. Thailand 2258 cases. Indonesia 2738 cases. Vietnam 249 cases. Sri Lanka 180 cases. Cambodia 115 cases. Nepal 9 cases.
OCEANA – Australia 5956 cases. New Zealand 969 cases.
The current coronavirus is part of a large family of viruses. Several known coronaviruses usually only cause mild respiratory disease, such as the common cold. However, at least two previously identified coronaviruses have caused severe disease — severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus. The current coronavirus currently has not been officially named, but has been referred to as the Wuhan Coronavirus in the media.
The good news is that the current virus is believed to have a much better survival rate than SARS and MURS, with an estimated 3% death rate (others are over 10%). Older individuals and those with chronic illness are more susceptible to infection and are at increased risk for severe complications. Most people who are becoming ill, and nearly all who have died, were older with underlying medical conditions.
Initial reports released indicate the course of illness is not as severe or contagious as seasonal influenza (flu). The incubation period of the current virus is approximately 1-14 days after exposure, with the average being 10 days until symptoms appear. Infected individuals are likely contagious to others before displaying symptoms. These symptoms include fever, fatigue, and cough, sometimes worsening to diarrhoea, difficulty breathing, kidney failure, and pneumonia – especially in those with underlying medical conditions.
Tips for staying healthy while travelling
There area few general pieces of advice provided to all people travelling (and are equally applicable to everyone at home)
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and carry sanitizer when out and about.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick – not only avoid spreading your germs, but as your immune system will be more susceptible.
- Carry disinfectant wipes to wipe down surfaces, such as plane trays, arm rests and door handles you are exposed to
- On flights, open your air vent to blow away stale air from around you
- Face masks are not really necessary, but can be useful if you find yourself located near someone who is showing signs of illness and want to have extra protection.
Please connect with one of our advisors using the chat now button below or the button opposite if you have any questions about this.