Top 10 things travellers should know about MERS

As we have highlighted earlier in our Life Insurance Blog, we’ve made it clear about Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) to the general public; It is a relatively new disease which is prominent in South Korea and parts of the Middle East . Given that  a lot of Sri Lankans travel to the middle east for pilgrimages and for career opportunities abroad, it should be no surprise that the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) has requested all passengers coming from these areas to be examined thoroughly before entering the country.


That being said, the ground situation is under control: the World Health Organization (WHO) has not declared a state of emergency thus far, meaning that there are no travel bans to such countries. Furthermore, Sri Lankan authorities have not reported any official cases of MERS in the country, so we should be able to breathe easy.

However, if you are travelling towards an area with MERS, we have listed 10 precautions you ought to undertake, as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) & the Centres for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

1. Travelers who visit farms, barns, local markets and other areas where animals gather should be mindful of hygiene- wash hands before/after touching animals & stay away from sick animals altogether

2. Only consume animal products (milk, meat, camel meat and camel milk) after they have been cooked fully. Furthermore, food ought to be managed carefully to avoid contamination with uncooked food.


3. We suggest that people who with severe lung diseases, diabetes, pregnant women and small children ought to avoid travelling to these areas as they are more vulnerable to getting sick  and suffer complications resulting from MERS.

In addition, we also suggest that you also take the following precautions:

4. Wash your hands frequently

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Wash your hands frequently

5. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough/sneeze

6. Refrain from  touching your face with unwashed hands

7. Avoid personal contact and don’t share cups/utensils with sick persons

It may not be a bad idea to wear a facemask when travelling

8. Clean & disinfect frequently used surfaces

9. If you are nervous, you can buy a mask

10. If you would like more detailed information about travel plans with regard to each country, we have it available for the Republic of Korea, the Arabian Peninsular as well as those who are going to the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

We hope that you will be able to use this information and travel safe! If you liked this information, please do share the information among those who will be travelling to these areas, and also subscribe for more useful articles!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.