What you need to know about COVID-19

What you need to know about COVID-19

What is the COVID-19?

The COVID-19 appeared last December in China’s Hubei province. This virus most often causes benign diseases, but can sometimes be the cause of very serious epidemics such as SARS or MERS. The COVID-19, whose origin is still poorly known, causes symptoms similar to those of seasonal flu: cough, fever, cold, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Despite the fact that it is more contagious, and that mortality associated with it increases with age and the existence of chronic diseases (hypertension, heart problems, diabetes, etc.) in patients affected. While waiting for a treatment or vaccine to be developed, the current treatments can only relieve the symptoms caused by the COVID-19, of which more than 85,000 people worldwide have already fully recovered.

Coronavirus prevention
COVID-19 prevention

To avoid the infection and spread of the virus, some simple gestures are important to adopt:

  • Wash your hands very often with soap or hydroalcoholic gel
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve or with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Use single-use tissues and then throw them away
  • Do not shake hands or greet people with kisses on the cheek
  • Avoid gatherings, reduce travel and contacts

On the other hand, it is advised by the authorities that no mask is needed if you are not sick and surgical masks are reserved for medical use.

What impact does COVID-19 have on tourism industry?

More than 110 countries are affected by the epidemic today. The outbreak of COVID-19 has been hitting the tourism sector hard. Both supplies and demands have significantly dropped within a very short period of time. It is still too early to conclude the overall impact of COVID-19 on international level. However, UNWTO has predicted the outcome of the current crisis by referring to SARS of 2003 and taking into account of the magnitude and dynamism of tourism industry, the geographical extent of COVID-19 and its potential economic impact:

  • As of today, UNWTO estimates that international tourist arrivals worldwide in 2020 could drop down by 1% to 3%, contrary to the growth of 3% to 4% that was initially expected at the beginning of January 2020.
  • This could result in a shortfall of 30-50 billion USD in terms of spending by international visitors (international tourism revenue).
  • Today, the Asia-Pacific would be the most affected region with a fall of international tourist arrivals by 9% to 12%, which is opposite to the growth of 5% to 6% forecasted at the beginning of January 2020.
  • Given the rapidly changing situation, it would be premature to make estimation for other regions of the world.

UNWTO reminds that any estimates should be treated very carefully. We have to be aware of the uncertainty of COVID-19 crisis, which could lead to further alterations.

What measures are implemented by the government in France ?

On March 14, 2020,  French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe declared that the fight against the epidemic had risen to the stage 3, and ordered that all places open to the public and that are not essential services (food shops, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, press outlets and essential public services) be closed until further notice. The goal of the decree is to avoid citizen’s gathering in crowds, including friend and family ones. The use of public transport should only be for work purposes and only when it is necessary and indispensable.On March 16, 2020,  
French government has taken the measures to the next level. In order to mitigate the spread of the virus, all movements outside of the home are no longer allowed until the end of the month.
The only authorized outings with a certificate are as follows:

  • Move from home to work when telework is not possible
  • Make essential purchases in authorized local shops
  • Go to a health professional
  • Travel to take care of your children or to help vulnerable people on the strict condition of respecting barrier gestures
  • Exercise only on an individual basis, around the home and without any gathering