The Impact of Coronavirus on the Society, Information for Medical Tourists

The Impact of Coronavirus on the Society, Information for Medical Tourists

The outbreak of COVID-19 in China has claimed many lives and adversely affected the global economy. But more surprisingly, the speed at which it is spreading all over the world, is a matter of a greater concern. More than 1,70,000 people have been affected globally with over 6000 deaths already reported until 15th March 2020. As of today, more than 75 countries are already affected by the virus and how to manage the spread of virus is the most vital question for every world leader. The World Health Organization (WHO) has already declared this outbreak as a pandemic.

China, Italy, Germany, Iran, South Korea, and the US are the most affected nations from this virus and India, African countries, and Turkey are the least affected at the moment. India is still in Stage 2 of the outbreak, that is, only people with a travel history to the severely affected countries and those who came in contact with them (immediate family members) have been found positive. Every measure is being taken now to screen all international travelers and testing is mandatory for those showing the main symptoms of coronavirus infection.

However, there are some important observations to make about this outbreak and the decision being taken by some of the nations to control its spread:

  • Countries such as India, Czech Republic, the UAE, and US has restricted the entry of foreign nationals by stopping the processing of visas.
  • Online visa application facility for applicable countries has been temporarily suspended.
  • Most countries have set up the facility in isolation for their own citizens who have been on a foreign travel in the last 14 days.
  • Some countries have made it mandatory for all international arrivals to be quarantined for 14 days.
  • They have set up an infrastructure for proper screening of suspected cases.
  • All of the immediate family members and individuals with whom COVID-19 positive patients met before diagnosis are being quarantined for 14 days.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Here are the most common symptoms that you must keep observing to ensure you visit the doctor at the right time. These symptoms may appear anytime within 2 to 14 days:

  • High temperature
  • Shortness of breath
  • Joint pains
  • Heaviness in the chest
  • Dry Cough and runny nose

Corona Virus -Symptoms and Precautions

What do we advice to keep this at bay?

COVID-19 is just like any other flu so please stay calm and do not panic if you experience any of these symptoms. It mostly affects those with compromised immunity or those who suffer from chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and hypertension. Young people, if affected by the virus, are expected to recover more quickly because of a strong immune system.

Timely visit a doctor to seek immediate medical attention and the required isolation to recover from the infection. As per the initial trends, COVID-19 have majorly affected the following population:

  • Adults aged above 60
  • Adults aged above 50 and suffering from a chronic condition
  • Infants and kids aged below 10
  • People with a travel history to high-impact countries such as China, UAE, France, Italy South Korea and EU member states
  • People who came in contact with someone with a travel history

What is there for people in need of immediate Medical Travel overseas?

This pandemic has affected a majority of industries, including aviation and leisure travel companies. At the same time, it has made nearly impossible for patients to seek medical treatment abroad, even in the case of urgency. Here are some of our key observations for you to consider:

Medical travelers looking to travel for elective or non-essential procedures such as cosmetic surgeries, IVF, weight loss surgery etc. are advised to park their decision at least for next 30 days or until the situation improves.

Only people suffering from the following medical conditions should consider for travel overseas:

  • Cardiac issues
  • Cancer
  • Organ transplantation
  • Urgent neurological treatment
  • Any other life-threatening condition

In case of a life-threatening disease, please follow these instructions:

  • Contact your healthcare service provider or local treating doctor for the expert opinion about the best line of treatment based on your medical condition and reports
  • Confirm from them if they are able to give the same treatment locally. Else, ask them to write a recommendation letter for urgent treatment abroad. It must be a signed and stamped letter printed on the clinic/hospital letterhead mentioning the severity of the illness with the purpose of how critical is it for you to travel overseas for the medical treatment
  • Contact local embassy and ask them for their support in availing the visa to the preferred choice of destination. Complete the visa application formalities and give a copy of the medical reports, recommendation letter from the local doctor, and the medical visa invitation or appointment confirmation letter from the hospital in preferred destination.
  • Also establish touch with the Airlines Company before making a reservation. Brief them about the condition of the patient and the urgency to travel for medical treatment overseas.
  • If you’re confused about the travel bans and restrictions, establish contact with us on (+1) 424 283 4838 or (+91) 8130985311 and we will help resolve your queries and assist with treatment abroad.
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Current Restrictions Imposed by Major Medical Tourism Destinations

India

  • As of now, Indian has suspended all existing visas for foreign passport holders and put a restriction on the processing of visas until April 15th, 2020. This is not applicable for official, diplomatic, employment, project, and UN/international organization visa holders.
  • The ban on entry has further been extended to Indian passport holders living in the UK, Turkey, and European Union on 17th March, 2020.
  • All flights to/from UK and Europe are suspended from 19th March 2020 until 31st March 2020.
  • All passengers arriving from UAE, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, China, Korea, Iran, Spain, France, Germany and Italy are being compulsorily quarantined for 14 days.
  • Any foreign national who wants to visit India for a compelling reason, including for medical treatment of life-threatening condition, are requested to contact the Indian Mission or Consulate in their country for the processing of visa and the needful shall be done if deemed appropriate and after a thorough evaluation.
  • All foreign nationals entering India through any port has to give a self-attested declaration form to the Health officials present and the immigration officer. The form has the particulars of the traveler and the history of recent infections or flu-like symptoms. The form will be provided at the immigration if you do not have a copy of it.

UAE (United Arab Emirates)

  • The UAE has suspended the issuance of all visas effective as of March 17th 2020.
  • This is not applicable for people whose visa is processed before March 17th 2020.
  • The timeline for suspension of visas and hold on further processing of visas has not been set. However, it is anticipated that there will be a review on March 31st, 2020, after which a final decision about lifting the ban is made.
  • This is not applicable for diplomatic passport holders.
  • In case of an emergency where a medical intervention in the UAE is required, you must contact the Consulate and brief them about the urgency and condition of the patient.

Turkey

  • The first case of coronavirus in Turkey was reported only a week ago, which still makes it safer to travel to.
  • The country has banned the entry of visitors from high-impact countries such as China, Italy, France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Norway, and the Netherlands.
  • Borders with Iran is closed as well.
  • People who have been to Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, South Korea or Sweden in the last 14 days of travel are not allowed to enter or transit through Turkey.
  • Medical tourists from countries except the ones mentioned above can apply for medical visa at the Consulate of Turkey in their respective country and submit the required documentation.

Thailand

  • The country has suspended visa-on-arrival facility for the following countries: Bulgaria, Bhutan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu and China.
  • Visa exemption for the nationals of Hong Kong, South Korea and Italy has been suspended.
  • Any patient who wishes to avail medical treatment in Thailand has to apply at the Embassy of Thailand in their respective country.
  • All of the people across the world have been urgent by their respective Health Departments to avoid all types of non-necessary travel in an attempt to contain the virus.
  • If you’re confused about the travel bans and restrictions, establish contact with us on (+1) 424 283 4838 or (+91) 8130985311 and we will help resolve your queries and assist with treatment abroad.

General Guidelines for Medical Travelers

  • Please carry all the essential items such as masks, gloves, analgesics such as paracetamol and simple painkillers for any emergency.
  • Carry all the health records of the patient and the fit-to-fly certificate.
  • If you are or have suffered from fever, cold, cough, and general flu in the last two weeks before travel, make sure to tell the authorities. Carry a statement from the local doctor about the flu and the treatment administered locally.
  • All international passengers are either being screened at the airport for COVID-19 symptoms or being quarantined for 14 days. You are requested to cooperate with the authorities for the mandatory screening and checks at the airport and beyond.
  • Make a note of all emergency contacts in the home country as well as destination country and keep it handy.
  • Maintain proper hygiene and maintain distance with people, especially if you see that someone is sick and has flu-like symptoms such as cold, cough, and fever.

Role of MediGence

We want you to be safe and healthy. More than just a travel, it is important to take all the precautionary measures to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19.
MediGence has set up a dedicated team of experts to give you all the guidance, support and the correct information to help you stay safe. Establish contact with us on (+1) 424 283 4838 or (+91) 8130985311 and we will help resolve your queries and assist with treatment abroad. You can also email us as [email protected]

Last modified on at May 14, 2020

Amit Bansal

Amit Bansal is a serial entrepreneur, Co-Founder, and CEO of MediGence. He has more than 17 years of strong technology experience. Having worked for some of the recognized companies in India, Australia and traveled worldwide to help businesses to grow multi-folded under his leadership and strategic guidance.

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