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Coronavirus: Guidance for Bupa Global customers

Last updated: 6 February 2020

Guidance for Bupa Global customers

Bupa Global is following these health events closely and monitoring the situation daily. We are keeping this page updated.

Up to date information can be found at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

For general enquiries or if you have a question that isn’t answered here, please get in touch on info@bupa-intl.com. Our team are ready to respond to any questions promptly.

Am I covered?

You can find all the detail about your health plan on our self-service portals and our team is always available to answer questions about your insurance cover and claims.

Who can I speak to?

If you have any questions you can email our customer services team on info@bupa-intl.com. In an emergency, you can call our 24/7 Customer Service Team on
+44 (0)1273 323 563. If required, we can connect you to one of our qualified nurses and doctors for health information related to the novel coronavirus.

For our customers on employer provided plans you have access to the Global Virtual Care app where you can schedule a virtual consultation or request a call back from a local doctor in multiple languages including English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Download Global Virtual Care from either the App Store or Google Play and sign in using your Bupa Global MembersWorld login details. You can register for MembersWorld here.

What do I need to know?

If you have recently travelled to China (where the coronavirus originated) watch out for symptoms such as a fever and cough. If you’re concerned call a doctor immediately. Make sure you tell them if you’ve recently travelled to China or another affected region.

Is there specific advice that I need to follow?

Dr Luke James, Medical Director for Bupa Global and UK Insurance, explains what the coronavirus is and precautions you can take to protect yourself. We’re keeping this information up to date.

On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization received reports of pneumonia of an unknown cause in Wuhan City in China. Authorities in China quickly identified the cause as a new (or novel) strain of coronavirus in early January.

The coronavirus outbreak has been widely reported in the news. Understandably, when news like this hits the headlines, it’s natural to feel worried.

But it’s important to remember that globally the situation is being closely monitored, and there are plans in place to manage a potential outbreak of diseases like this.

Here I’ll explain what the coronavirus is…

What is the coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause illnesses such as the common cold, to more severe conditions such as pneumonia, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory syndrome (SARS). The strain of coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that has caused the outbreak in China is new, and not previously known. It has been named Covid-19 by the World Health Organization.

What causes coronavirus?

These types of virus are spread between animals and humans. The source of the current outbreak hasn’t been confirmed yet but is being investigated. From the evidence available so far, it appears that human-to-human transmission is occurring.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptoms of this coronavirus include:

  • respiratory symptoms (like those you have with a cold)
  • fever (high temperature)
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • breathing difficulties

In more severe cases the virus can cause pneumonia, SARS (a severe form of pneumonia), kidney failure and death. It’s important to note though that most cases so far seem to have been mild. The most serious cases in Wuhan seem to have happened in people with pre-existing health conditions.

Who is affected?

So far, coronavirus has been confirmed in a number of countries including China, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the United States, Australia, France and the UK. Cases are being confirmed on an ongoing basis.

How can I protect myself and others?

No matter where you are in the world, there are standard hygiene recommendations from the World Health Organization that can help contain the spread of this and other similar illnesses:

  • Wash your hands frequently with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or a tissue. Then throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and a cough
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and let the doctor or nurse know about your travel history
  • If you’re visiting live markets in an area currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals
  • Avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices

Further information

Clearly the situation is a rapidly changing one and further up to date information can be found at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019