The world is currently facing a viral outbreak which originated from Wuhan, China which has been spreading across several countries.

Everyday, new reports confirm the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) which has already claimed several lives while more and more are screened positive for the virus.

Maldives, being a tourism heavy destination, expects several travelers everyday and this also poses the possibility of the disease arriving to the island nation. This however, is not a statement aimed at inciting fear or panic, but rather placing the possibility for such a scenario.

Earlier, the Minister of Tourism Mr Ali Waheed confirmed over 5,000 tourist bookings to Maldives have been cancelled in light of the viral outbreak. A step taken by the Maldives government in a bid to ensure the disease does not make it to mainland Maldives.

Meanwhile, the social media have been rampant with posts regarding the disease with many of these being attempts at scaring the mass public.

However, the question right now is to take necessary steps in making sure we are cautioned well in countering the viral outbreak as well as ensuring we remain safe from contacting the disease.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while there are no official vaccinations to cure or prevent the infection, the "best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus."

However, the department has recommended utilizing everyday preventive measures to counter the virus which includes;

  • Washing hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers which contain at least 60% alcohol (by alcohol, CDC is referring to major hand sanitizers which indeed use alcohol-based substances)
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Staying indoors when sick
  • Covering yourselves with a tissue while sneezing (and then discarding the used tissue into trash bins)
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

It is also advisable to use face masks while going out, as it would an apt barrier against direct contact from others during scenarios where they cough or sneeze in public.