Coronavirus News and Updates

Facts About the Coronavirus COVID-19

Ever since this whole thing started, you may have come across two terms: Coronavirus and COVID-19. So, what is the difference between them?

Well, there are many different types of coronaviruses. They are viruses that are common both in people and different animal species, but they rarely transmit from animal to human. In this case, it did.

So if a person is infected with a coronavirus, they will develop symptoms and get sick. The COVID-19, which stands for CoronaVirus Disease 2019, is an infectious disease caused by a coronavirus that hasn’t been previously identified in humans. There was another outbreak of a contagious respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus back in 2002, known as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

This coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is believed to have originated in an animal market in Wuhan, China, where the first people were infected from an animal. Then, it began rapidly spreading from human to human as well, first in China, then worldwide.

At the time of writing (mid-March, 2020), there have been more than 120,000 reported cases of the virus worldwide, the majority of which are in China (over 80,000). The second-largest outbreak is in Italy, followed by Iran, South Korea, and Spain. Overall, it is spread in more than 126 countries and regions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) finally declared the COVID-19 a pandemic.

What are the Symptoms of the Coronavirus?

If you become infected with the coronavirus, you may develop the following symptoms 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing (in more severe cases)

The symptoms of the coronavirus are very similar to that of the seasonal flu, so just because you develop the aforementioned symptoms, it does not mean you necessarily have COVID-19. In severe cases, coronavirus patients may also develop pneumonia.

How is the Coronavirus Spread?

The coronavirus can be transmitted:

  • From person to person. If someone coughs or sneezes near you or you are simply in close contact with them, you can get the coronavirus through their airborne respiratory droplets. This is the main way the disease has spread so far.
  • From contaminated surfaces. If a person who has been infected with COVID-19 touches a surface, the virus could live there for hours. If you touch the surface and then touch your face (eyes, nose, or mouth) you can be infected with the virus as well – so make sure to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.

How Dangerous is the Coronavirus?

Most of the people who become infected with the coronavirus will overcome it without any serious complications. A large number of them may not even have to be hospitalized, but can instead self-isolate and recover at home. However, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions are more vulnerable to the coronavirus.

The overall fatality rate of the COVID-19 appears to be around 3.4%, but it is not evenly distributed among age groups. Ages 9-39 have the lowest fatality rate so far (about 0.2%) whereas, for those aged over 80, the rate goes to 14%, according to a report by the Chinese Center for Disease Control.

Therefore, if you are young and healthy, your biggest concern should not be whether you survive the disease if you catch it (you likely will) but that you may pass it on to someone else who is not so lucky.

Coronavirus Travel Ban Map

Map of countries that have imposed travel bans due to coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus News

Filipino Couples Separated by Travel Bans Urge Government to Help Them Reunite

When the Philippines closed its doors, back in March, hoping to stave off the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, a large number of couples were left separated, and haven’t seen each other for over six months now. Even though married couples are permitted to meet again in the Philippines, internationals who maintain a relationship with Filipinos, which usually were allowed to enter the country as tourists, are now included into the non-essential travel regulation, therefore are still [...]

US Stops Health Screening Internationals of Certain Countries Arriving Through 15 Airports

The United States Government will no longer require international travellers to go through the screening process upon their arrival to 15 airports, after an evaluation that these screenings did not contribute to halting the spread of the virus. However, passengers will be advised regarding public health measures, in order to reduce the risk from the Coronavirus pandemic, VisaGuide.World reports. “Beginning September 14, 2020, the US government will remove requirements for directing all flights carrying airline passengers arriving [...]

By |2020-09-11T14:54:59+02:00September 11th, 2020|Coronavirus News and Updates, US Visa/Passport News|

IATA Urges European Countries to Reopen Their Borders

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is calling on the governments of the European Union Member States to lift their border restrictions and continue to relieve their imposed measures due to the Coronavirus pandemic, in order to help the airlines recover from the devastation caused by the deadly virus. IATA has stressed that the travel demand continues to be annihilated by restrictions that a large share of countries have imposed in a bid to stop the virus [...]

Albanian Govt to Reimburse Its Citizens Fined Abroad for Overstaying Visa During COVID-19 Lockdown

Albania has decided to reimburse the fines imposed by international countries' authorities for Albanian citizens that overstayed their visas amid the Coronavirus outbreak. The fines, which have occurred between March 10 and June 1, will be reimbursed by the General Directorate of Taxation (GDT) in Albania, VisaGuide.World reports. The GDT's announcement clarified the documents that citizens must send via email so that they could be refunded. Proof of the payment of the fine, translated and notarised fine [...]

By |2020-09-03T09:38:39+02:00September 3rd, 2020|Albania Visa/Passport News, Coronavirus News and Updates|

US Resumes Processing K Visas, as a Priority

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By |2020-09-01T14:28:06+02:00September 1st, 2020|Coronavirus News and Updates, US Visa/Passport News|

Indian Couples Separated by Restrictions Urge Authorities to Help Them Reunite

Five months have passed since the last time Indian citizens who keep a relationship with persons outside their country, have seen each other in person after they were stranded in different countries amid the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. As the third most infected country worldwide with a total of 3,314,953 COVID-19  registered cases, India imposed travel restrictions and entry bans, to protect the health and safety of its citizens, making them and their health a priority. [...]

Unmarried Partners Worldwide Fight to Reunite Amid COVID-19 International Travel Bans

All damages caused by travel restrictions and entry bans imposed worldwide due to the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) affect every day the life of couples that have been separated for months now. Even though 10 European countries have lifted the travel ban, permitting the reunion of the unmarried partners separated by an entry ban, yet visa application centres have not resumed their services preventing couples reunion, VisaGuide.World reports. Teresa, a student that lives in Germany, and her boyfriend [...]

By |2020-08-26T10:24:33+02:00August 17th, 2020|Coronavirus News and Updates|

UK Updates Quarantine List – 155 Countries Included

There are 155 countries on the UK’s COVID-19 quarantine list as of August 14, including the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, France, and the US.  Also on the list are Monaco, Luxembourg, Malta, Romania, and Russia. Anyone - UK resident or tourist - travelling from those countries will need to undergo self-isolation for 14 days. Upon arrival, passengers will have to provide their contact details, whereas breaking quarantine will lead to a fine of up to £1,000. Turkey, a [...]

By |2020-08-26T10:24:33+02:00August 17th, 2020|Coronavirus News and Updates, UK Visa/Passport News|

WHO: Travel Restrictions Must Be Lifted Gradually

After months of severe travel restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many countries are now opening up their borders and resuming international travel. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) has published a document outlining the key factors health authorities must consider when restarting international travel. According to the WHO, countries must lift travel restrictions gradually, based on a risk-assessment strategy, which evaluates the country’s local epidemiology, transmission patterns, the healthcare capacities, as well as the [...]

‘Late’ US Ban on Travelers from Europe Might Have Caused Rapid Spread of Coronavirus

A ‘late’ ban imposed by the United States to travellers coming from Europe could have been fatal for the US Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). In January, just as a large share of countries, the United States as well, turned all eyes on China, when the Coronavirus started to be spread, introducing entry bans and travel restrictions, but at the same time, the virus also started to be spread in the European countries. The US government didn’t impose bans [...]