Are we approaching a day where Australia will be completely cut off from the rest of the world, with no planes flying in or out?
All around the world, flights are being cancelled and travel bans are being introduced, all to contain the spread of coronavirus.
But are we approaching a day where Australia will be completely cut off from the rest of the world, with no planes flying in or out?
According to pandemic expert Adam Kamradt-Scott, no.
The University of Sydney associate professor said shutting down international flights altogether was not going to happen.
"There are still individuals that need to move around the world for very legitimate reasons," he told 9News.com.au.
Reduced flights proved a problem for the West African Ebola epidemic, where health responders could not reach the affected areas.
Should you cancel your holiday over coronavirus?
"People obviously have to weigh up their own risk appetite for how likely they may be to contract the virus and the consequences of that if they are travelling overseas," Dr Kamradt-Scott said.
"People are still travelling, and some people are still deciding to go on holidays, but some people need to be aware and check their insurance arrangements in the case they do get exposed to the coronavirus."
With other countries introducing travel bans similar to Australia's, it is possible in the future that Australians may not be able to visit certain countries.
And if the travel bans expand to other countries, Australian tourists need to consider whether they want to follow an overseas trip with two weeks of self-isolation.
"Ninety per cent of the world's cases are still contained in four countries – China, South Korea, Iran and Italy," Dr Kamradt-Scott said.
"It is still only a small handful of countries that have been severely affected."
The problem for prospective travellers hoping to take advantage of cheap airline tickets is there's no end-point to the coronavirus pandemic.
"There's no one point where governments can say we are now entering a recovery phase," Dr Kamradt-Scott said.
"We can have these waves (of cases) occurring separately, or simultaneously or concurrently."
Dr Kamradt-Scott said there is good evidence the extreme quarantine and isolation measures being used in China and South Korea are working.
US President Donald Trump announced today that non-US residents who have been in Europe would not be allowed into America.
The ban includes the countries of Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Anybody who has been in those countries in the past 14 days will not be allowed to enter the US, unless they are a US citizen, closely related to an American, or a permanent resident.
A similar ban is in place in Australia for China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.
What is a pandemic?
A pandemic is not linked to changes to the characteristics of a disease, rather concerns over geographic spread.
According to the World Health Organisation, a pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations.
How does the WHO decide if something should be classified as a pandemic?
There is no quota of deaths, infections or number of countries affected that has to be met, with the declaration of pandemic at the discretion of the WHO.
Coronavirus has been labelled a pandemic after recording a significant and ongoing increase in person-to-person spreads of the disease across multiple countries.
What's the difference between a pandemic and epidemic?
While a pandemic relates to the worldwide spread of a new disease, an epidemic refers to a more localised or regional outbreak where there is a sudden increased number of cases of a disease that is above what is normally expected in that population in that area.
What other diseases have been labelled as pandemics?
Cholera pandemic (1910 – 1911): Like its five previous incarnations, the Sixth Cholera Pandemic originated in India and killed over 800,000, before it spread to the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia.
Flu pandemic (1918): Taking the lives of 20 to 50 million people, a deadly outbreak of influenza tore across the globe between 1918 and 1920.
Asian flu (1956 – 1958): Originating in China in 1956 and lasting until 1958, the Asian Flu travelled from the Chinese province of Guizhou to Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States. Estimates suggest there were around two million deaths.
Flu pandemic (1968): The 1968 flu pandemic was caused by the H3N2 strain of the Influenza A virus and resulted in the deaths of more than a million people. It took just three months to spread from Hong Kong to the rest of the world.
HIV/AIDS (1981): While first identified in 1976, the disease peaked during the 1990s and 2000s. It has been responsible for killing more than 36 million people worldwide.
Swine flu (2009): The WHO last used the "pandemic" label during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak. Swine flu recorded 575,400 deaths worldwide.
What happens now coronavirus is a pandemic?
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyes expressed alarm about mounting infection rates and slow government responses, but said it's not too late for countries to respond.
"All countries can still change the course of this pandemic. If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace and mobilise their people in the response," he said.
"We are deeply concerned by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction."
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-will-all-flights-be-grounded-and-countries-cut-off/e7377bbc-1d96-45b5-b1c7-f2c454f52927