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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 278-279

Containment of the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak by imposing travel restrictions: Worthy approach?


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Chengalpet, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth(SBV) – Deemed to be University, Chengalpet, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission12-Mar-2020
Date of Acceptance24-Apr-2020
Date of Web Publication26-Sep-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai Village, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJAM.IJAM_16_20

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Containment of the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak by imposing travel restrictions: Worthy approach?. Int J Acad Med 2020;6:278-9

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Containment of the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak by imposing travel restrictions: Worthy approach?. Int J Acad Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Nov 30];6:278-9. Available from: https://www.ijam-web.org/text.asp?2020/6/3/278/296140



To the Editor,

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19)outbreak, which started from a single city in China, has now been reported in 213 nations and territories.[1] The incidence of the disease, the overall caseload, and the pace with which disease has been detected in these nations have together contributed enough evidence that this novel infection was declared as a pandemic.[1],[2] In terms of facts, a cumulative total of 23,97,217 cases and 1,62,956 deaths has been reported worldwide since the start of the outbreak. At present, the disease has a case fatality rate of 6.8%, and it is quite an alarming fact that 5109 deaths were reported within a span of 24 h worldwide.[1] It is important to acknowledge the fact that the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak is no longer in China, but it has now shifted to the European and the American region, which together accounts for 86.8% of the global caseload and 91.4% of the globally reported deaths.[1],[2]

Considering that close contact is the most predominant mode of the disease transmission based on the available evidence, the travel of the confirmed/suspect cases (after coming in contact with a case) becomes an important mode of international spread of the disease.[3],[4] The World Health Organization has clearly specified that the decision to restrict movement of people should be taken only in proportion with the impending public health risk, and even if imposed, it has to be brief and periodically reviewed for reconsideration based on the epidemiological and clinical attributes.[3],[5],[6] It is worth noting that many of the nations (such as the United States of America and India) have imposed travel restrictions to limit the spread of the cases and also importation of the cases.[5],[6],[7]

However, some of the nations such as Italy did not strictly implement travel restrictions in the early stages of the disease and as a result of which sudden upsurge in the number of cases was reported. These restrictions are varied and include denial of entry to nations other than China, denial of entry of travelers from China in the last 14 days, self-isolation, flights restrictions or suspensions, quarantine of healthy contacts, visa restrictions, and entry screenings at point of entry.[1],[4],[5],[6] These measures have been proposed primarily because of the existing vulnerability, limited capacity of the nations, and the unknown nature-epidemiological attributes of the causative virus.[1],[2],[5] In addition, the declaration of the disease as a public health emergency of international concern, financial consequences of the disease, and the absence of any targeted treatment has also influenced the imposition of these restrictions.[4],[5],[6] Further, the chances that the disease transmission can be reduced and that fear and anxiety among masses can also be contained have forced the public health authorities to restrict travel.[3],[4],[6],[7]

In conclusion, the global threat of COVID-19 is increasing with each day, and amidst lack of preparedness, defective response plan, and unknown epidemiological attributes, multiple nations have enforced travel restrictions. However, it is crucial that the political leaders recognize that mere implementation of travel restrictions will not solve the problem, and it has to be supplemented with other public health measures and concerted response.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

Ethical conduct of research

The authors of this manuscript declare that this scientific work complies with reporting quality, formatting, and reproducibility guidelines set forth by the EQUATOR Network. The authors also attest that this manuscript does not require Institutional Review Board/Ethics Committee review, and the corresponding protocol/approval number is not applicable.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 92. World Health Organization; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation -reports/20200421-sitrep-92-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=38e6b06d_6. [Last accessed on 2020 Apr 22].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Lee A. Wuhan novel coronavirus (COVID-19): Why global control is challenging? Public Health 2020;179:A1-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. Updated WHO Recommendations for International Traffic in Relation to COVID-19 Outbreak. World Health Organization; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-roo m/articles-detail/updated-w ho-recommendations-for-intern ational-traffic-in-relation-to-cov id-19-outbreak/. [Last accessed on 2020 Apr 22].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Ralph R, Lew J, Zeng T, Francis M, Xue B, Roux M, et al. 2019-nCoV (Wuhan virus), a novel coronavirus: Human-to-human transmission, travel-related cases, and vaccine readiness. J Infect Dev Ctries 2020;14:3-17.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Rodríguez-Morales AJ, MacGregor K, Kanagarajah S, Patel D, Schlagenhauf P. Going global – Travel and the 2019 novel coronavirus. Travel Med Infect Dis 2020;33:101578.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
World Health Organization. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: WHO press; 2020. p. 1-21.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Minimizing the risk of international spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak by targeting travelers. J Acute Dis 2020;9:47-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
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