Eid Al Fitr 2023 in UAE: Doctors give travel safety tips amid spike in flu, Covid cases in some coun

Posted on 19-04-2023

Medical experts advise holidaymakers to postpone trips if they are not feeling well in order to prevent the potential spread of infection

There has been a sudden surge in Covid-19 and flu cases around the world over the past few weeks, particularly in some Asian countries. Ahead of Eid Al Fitr holidays, doctors urge residents to take precautionary measures as they travel abroad.

A number of Asian nations, including India, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam, are seeing a rise in Covid cases, but health authorities have been monitoring the situation closely, ensuring that everything is under control.

Dr Gopal Chawla, specialist pulmonologist at NMC Specialty Hospital, Dubai Investments Park, said individuals with 'even the slightest flu symptoms' should avoid travel to prevent the potential spread of infection.

“Firstly, check for restrictions and entry requirements before travelling. It is highly recommended that travellers and their families are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before departure to reduce the risk of disease and virus transmission.”

Dr Chawla advised holidaymakers to bring a travel health kit that should include face masks, hand sanitisers, disinfectant wipes, and necessary prescription medication.

“During travel, it is essential to wear a mask at all times, including in public spaces, airports, and planes. Practising good hygiene through frequent hand-washing with soap and water or using hand sanitisers, avoiding touching one’s face, and maintaining a safe distance from others is strongly advised,” Dr Chawla pointed out.

Avoid crowded places

Dr Anees Kallada Vadakkeyil, specialist pulmonologist at LLH Hospital, noted that individuals must avoid crowded places and opt for outdoor or well-ventilated settings for events.

“Ideally, avoid eating anything on a flight or while travelling on public transportation abroad. It may sound difficult while on a holiday but try to avoid going to events, parties and concerts with large gatherings. Or, find a place, which is not crowded but wear a mask and maintain a safe distance from others. While eating out, prefer outdoor settings as indoor places will have poor ventilation,” Dr Anees said, highlighting different ways to prevent transmission of virus.

Dr Anees said that individuals must always stay hydrated and have a nutritious diet. “Have a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and green vegetables. Drink a lot of water. Also, consult a doctor if you feel unwell during your holiday.”

Dr Chawla added: “Whenever possible, travellers should opt for direct flights and limit the number of airports and planes required for navigation. It may be beneficial to consider purchasing travel insurance that includes coverage for Covid-19-related issues, such as medical expenses and trip cancellations.”