Covid-19

Basic Information that applies (more immediately) to everyone:

Immediate behaviour

  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water
  • Keep hands away from mouth, nose, eyes, ears, or any part of face
  • Wash hands carefully after using the toilet/lavatory/rest room
  • Keep physical distance. Stand 2 meters apart (6 feet)

Additional behaviour

  • Avoid close contact with sick people showing symptoms
  • Limit surfaces touched – remember virus lives for hours or days on surfaces
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Use a face mask
  • Avoid shaking hands or hugging people
  • Self quarantine – Self-isolate for 14 days if you have been in proximity to those with COVID-19.
  • Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing into your elbow or use a tissue and discard it into a bin with lid straight away.

Criteria for washing hands:

  1. After sneezing or coughing
  2. When caring for the sick
  3. After toilet use
  4. Before, during and after preparing food
  5. Before eating food
  6. Whenever hands are dirty
  7. After handling animals or animal waste
  8. Before feeding a child

Symptoms:

  • Most common symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever (high temperature), persistent dry cough and severe tiredness
  • Other symptoms include: sore throat, blocked nose and runny nose, aches and pains, tiredness (similar to a cold or a flu)
  • Some people have abdominal pain diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Recent App tracking symptoms found most common symptom in people aged between 20 – 60 has been losing sense of smell and taste
  • Many people show mild symptoms
  • Severe symptoms include: difficulty breathing and chest pain which happens gradually and needs immediate attention

Who is infected:

  • Anyone can be infected with COVID-19.
  • Anyone can spread (including children and young people)
  • Any person from any country,
  • Any person with any race or religion
  • Any person of any age
  • Both boys and girls
  • Both men and women
  • Any person whether with a physical problem or without.

How it is transmitted:

  • Transmission happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or breathes out small droplets from the mouth or nose.
  • Anyone in close proximity can breathe in droplets which are infected with COVID -19 (coughs out, sneezes or exhales droplets).
  • Droplets can also fall on surfaces when an infected person coughs, sneezes or breathes out. Others can catch COVID-19 by touching these contaminated objects or surfaces, and then going on to touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Important to maintain a 2 meter (6 feet) distance from an infected person, or when in a public space – and good hand hygiene.
  • Also transmitted by living on surfaces for a long time, lavatory as secreted into faeces.
  • Pre-symptomatic transmission: Infected people can spread the virus without showing symptoms
  • Asymptomatic transmission: Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell but can still transmit the virus

Who is at risk:

  • Anyone is vulnerable as virus is very infectious
  • Take care if you have HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis
  • Older people
  • People with underlying medical problems, e.g. high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, lung disease, asthma, cancer
  • Children and young people can be infected and develop serious illness. Children can also spread the disease to others.

How to protect yourself and prevent spread

  • Completely avoid crowded places and large gatherings (religious gatherings, weddings, churches/mosques, funerals, parties, sporting events etc.)
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough/flu-like symptoms. Keep a 2 meter distance. If you are an essential worker in an office, then you must maintain the same 2 meter distance.
  • If you have symptoms you should self-isolate; go home until you are well again.
  • Do not share personal items such as towels with anyone who has fever and cough/flu like symptoms. Do not share cups, eating utensils, food, drinks cigarettes with others.
  • Pay more attention to hand hygiene; wash your hands with soap and water or, if water is not available, use waterless soap when: they are visibly dirty; before and after handling food; after using the toilet. It is a good habit to wash your hands before you leave the house and when you return home.
  • Clean your hands often using water or waterless soap especially after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with dirty hands as these are areas that easily allow infections to enter the human body.
  • If you develop a persistent cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, you must call the national helpline for advice or use the advice given to you by your health ministry of your government
  • It is advised that you use a disposable tissue not handkerchief to cover your nose and mouth when sneezing, coughing, wiping and blowing your nose. Any used tissue should be disposed of immediately in a bin or if you are travelling keep used tissues a small paper or plastic bag until you find a bin. Do not throw used tissues, spit or blow your nose directly into the pavements, streets or any public space.
  • If you have a mask wear one but make sure you clean your hands before putting on your mask, and before taking the mask off. Remember a wet, dirty mask may cause you to become infected.
  • Clean around your home regularly, especially all surfaces including floors, chairs, washbasins, bathrooms, wash areas and toilets.

Virus on surfaces

SURFACE TIME virus may be detected on surface
Aerosols 3 hours
Copper 4 hours
Cardboard and paper 3-5 days
Plastic 3 -5days
Stainless steel-taps, pots and pans, knives and forks 2 days
Rubber/latex gloves 8 hours
Wood – floors furniture 4 days
Glass – windows, doors, drinking 4 days
Aluminium – pots, pans buckets 8 hours
Enamel-mugs, kitchen utensils 2 days

Concepts that could promote compassion and the behavioural change of caring for others and saving lives:

  • Listen to advice about staying away from people who may be ill or staying at home
  • Share what you learn about preventing disease with your family and friends, especially with younger children
  • Teach good hygiene practices such as washing your hands, sneezing and coughing into your elbow, especially for younger family members
  • “Stay home to help save lives: Anyone can get it. Anyone can spread it” (NHS advertising)
  • “Whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely” (Muslim verse, Quran 5:32)
  • “Be kind, let’s look out for one another”
  • You can have fighting message – use evocative words such as “COMBAT”, “BEAT”
  • Unite and fight the invisible enemy!
  • Your life is worth it!
  • Can’t see it, can’t hear it, it’s invisible!