Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19
The novel coronavirus or Covid-19 has swept the globe and caused an outbreak that has become one of humanity’s gravest health crises in recent times.
In order to help everyone in Pakistan to get more knowledge and awareness about Covid-19, we have put together a list of 100 FAQs on COVID-19 by using the material provided by the world’s most reliable and trustworthy organizations such as World Health Organization (WHO), United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and of course the Government of Pakistan.
The answers of most frequently asked questions about Covid-19 are as follows:
Coronaviruses are a group of related viruses that cause illness in humans and animals. In humans, these viruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This new virus was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan of People’s Republic of China. The outbreak of Covid-19 is affecting countries all around the world.
People infected with Covid-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported. The symptoms of Covid-19 in a person may appear in between 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Most common symptoms of Covid-19 are as follows:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
- Consistent pain or pressure in chest
Other symptoms of Covid-19 include the following:
- Loss of taste or smell
- Nausea or vomiting
- Congestion or runny nose
- Sore throat
- Discoloration of fingers or toes
- Rashes on skin
No. The virus that causes COVID-19 and the one that caused the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) way back in 2003 are genetically related but the diseases they cause are different. SARS was way more fatal but much less infectious when compared with COVID-19. There have been no outbreak of SARS since 2003.
One of the most severe complications in people having the novel coronavirus is pneumonia in both the lungs.
Elderly people with underlying medical conditions are at most risk of getting infected with the novel coronavirus. Many people infected with Covid-19 died due to multi-organ failure not directly because of the deadly virus but the shock and impact the virus caused on their bodies in general. Therefore, it can be said that many patients can survive if they are provided with adequate and appropriate support and care.
Most people with disabilities are not inherently at higher risk of getting infected with COVID-19. People with disabilities might be at a higher risk of becoming infected with Covid-19 mainly because of their underlying medical conditions.
People with certain disabilities might experience higher rates of chronic health conditions that makes them more susceptible to COVID-19. Adults with disabilities are three times more likely to have diabetes, heart disease, stroke, or cancer as compared to adults without disabilities.
If you are at higher risk of getting infected with the novel coronavirus, you should do the following:
- Take necessary measures to keep distance between yourself and others
- Stock up on supplies
- When you go out in public make sure to wear mask, limit contact with others and wash your hands on a frequent basis
- Avoid cruise travel, crowds and non-essential travel
The novel coronavirus has claimed almost half a million lives globally after the first case was reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
If a person has minor symptoms, such as a mild fever or a slight cough then there is generally no need to seek medical help. In such a situation, it would be in your best interest to stay at home and self-isolate yourself. Follow national guidance on self-isolation.
One should immediately seek medical care if he/ she is experiencing following Covid-19 symptoms:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Consistent pain in chest
- Bluish face or lips
- Inability to wake or stay awake
In case you experience one or more of the above mentioned symptoms then make sure to follow the guidelines of the public health authorities in your city/ country on the steps to take or call the local COVID-19 helpline.
In addition, contact your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any symptoms, other than the ones mentioned above, that are severe or concerning you a lot.
The time between exposure to novel coronavirus and the moment when the symptoms begin to develop and exhibit is normally around five to six days but can range from 1 to 14 days.
Covid-19 primarily spreads from close contact between people, mainly through small droplets that are produced when a person with COVID-19 speaks, sneezes, or coughs. People can catch the novel coronavirus if they breathe in these droplets expelled either through mouth or nose by a person that is infected with this deadly virus. This is why it is essential for a person to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others. This virus can also spread if someone touches a contaminated surface and then touches his/ her eyes, mouth or nose. This is why it is important to regularly clean your hands either by washing using soap and water or by sanitizing using alcohol based hand sanitizers.
Evidence to date suggest that the virus that causes the novel coronavirus is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.
Covid-19 mainly spreads through respiratory droplets expelled by a person having symptoms such as fever, coughing, sneezing and fatigue. However, many people infected with the deadly virus only experience mild symptoms. Covid-19 can spread through a person having just a mild cough.
Some reports have indicated that people showing no symptoms can also transmit the virus to other people as well as onto surfaces and objects.
The risk of getting infected with COVID-19 from the feces of an infected person appears to be low. Study to date suggests that in some cases the virus may be present in feces but the spread of it through feces route seems highly unlikely. Additionally, there is no evidence that supports notion of COVID-19 virus surviving in water or sewage.
At this time, there is no information available to suggest that the novel coronavirus or other similar coronaviruses are spread by ticks or mosquitoes. The main way through which the virus spreads is from close contact between people.
It is unknown whether temperature and weather can impact the spread of novel coronavirus. Viruses that cause common cold and flu spread more during months in which weather is colder but that does not mean it is not possible to become sick during other months. There is a lot to learn about the severity, transmissibility and other features associated with the novel coronavirus and research about the same are ongoing.
Isolation and quarantine are public health practices used for protecting the general public by preventing them being exposed to people who have or suspected to have a contagious disease.
It separates people who are ill because of a contagious disease from people who are not ill, and perfectly fine and healthy.
Quarantine separates as well as restricts the movement of persons who were exposed to an infectious disease to see or examine if they develop symptoms of the disease.
Community spread means people of a specific area or territory have been infected with the virus, including the ones who are not sure how and when they caught the virus.
COVID-19 has similar signs and symptoms as the common cold and you can differentiate between the two only through laboratory testing.
Yes, it is possible for a person to test positive for both flu and Covid-19 at the same time
Stay aware of the latest information with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, available on the World Health Organization (WHO) website and through your national and local public health authority.
You can reduce the chances of you being infected by the novel coronavirus by taking the following precautions:
- Practicing hand and respiratory hygiene is essential at all times and is the best way to protect yourself and others from this dangerous disease. Ensure that you frequently clean your hands either by washing it or by using a commercial or homemade hand sanitizer.
- When possible try to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet between others and yourself. This is highly important if you are standing next to a person who is sneezing or coughing.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth. If you have touched a contaminated surface or object with your hands and then you use your hands to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth then it would result in the virus entering your body and then making you sick.
- Stay at home when you are sick.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue.
- Not sharing drinks, food, or eating utensils.
Physical distancing aims to reduce physical contact between healthy people and infected/ potentially infected people. The objective of this activity is to interrupt the spread of COVID-19.
It should be noted that the term ‘physical distancing’ means the same thing as the widely used term ‘social distancing’, but it more accurately describes what is intended, namely that people keep themselves physically apart. The success of physical distancing depends partially on ensuring that people maintain social contact with family, friends and colleagues but from a distance. Phone calls and Internet-based communications are therefore key tools for ensuring that physical distancing strategy becomes a success.
Many countries in the world have implemented social/ physical distancing as measures to prevent the further spread of the virus.
These measures include:
- Limiting the number of visitors and limiting the contact between the residents of confined settings, such as prisons and long-term care facilities;
- The partial or full closure of workplaces and educational institutions;
- Prohibition, restriction and cancellation of mass gatherings and smaller meetings;
- Internal or external border closures;
- Stay-at-home restrictions for entire regions or countries.
If you have been in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19 then there is probability that you may also be infected.
Close contact in context of Covid-19 means that either you live with or have been in settings of less than six feet from those who are infected with the virus.
However, if you live in an area where patients suffering from malaria or dengue fever also live then it is highly important that you do not ignore fever symptoms and seek immediate medical help. When you visit a healthcare facility, make sure that you wear a mask, maintain distance of at least 6 feet from others and do not touch objects and surfaces with your hands.
When you should consider self-isolating yourself:
- If you get ill, you must self-isolate yourself even if you have very mild symptoms;
- If you think you have not been exposed to novel coronavirus but still have developed symptoms, then you must self-isolate and monitor your symptoms;
- You are expected to infect more people in the early stages of the disease when your symptoms are not severe. In such a situation, early self-isolation would be the right thing to do.
- If you have no symptoms of Covid-19 but still have been exposed to a person who has been tested positive for the disease then self-quarantine yourself for 14 days.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 then self-isolate yourself for 14 days even if the symptoms have disappeared as a preventative and precautionary measure. It is not yet known exactly as to how long people that had tested positive for the disease remain infectious after they have recovered. Follow national advice with regards to self-isolation.
It is important to continue taking your medication to ensure your good health and wellness. Keep in touch with your healthcare provider to manage your disease.
Suspected or probable cases of COVID-19 in most countries are confirmed through a diagnostic or PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test.
If you have symptoms of Covid-19 then in that case you should contact your health care provider. Your health care provider will assess your symptoms/ signs as well as possibility of exposure and will determine whether you should be tested for Covid-19. It is especially important for individuals to be tested that are at high risk of getting infected with the virus such as:
- Older adults, age 60 years or over
- People with underlying medical conditions
- People with weakened immune systems.
If you work in a healthcare facility and are in contact with infected patients or other health care workers that are dealing Covid-19 patients, or if you are a first responder (Emergency Medical Services, fire, police, etc.), you need to be tested regardless of the high risk criteria in case you become symptomatic.
In addition, people who travelled abroad or have come in contact with laboratory confirmed case of Covid-19 should also get tested for Covid-19.
In general, for diagnostic tests, samples are collected from a person’s throat and/or nose using swabs or other medical devices in a healthcare facility or setting. The preferred way for collecting a sample for a Covid-19 test would be a healthcare professional swabbing the back of the nasal cavity through the nostril. Alternatively, the professional may swab the inside of the front of the nose or the back of your throat.
Additionally, the relevant authorities in different countries have authorized some tests for use with home sample collection kits that are prescribed by a doctor and allow the patient to collect the sample at home and send it directly to the lab for analysis.
Public Health Authorities across many countries have designated laboratories and other healthcare facilities where test kits have been made available for performing Covid-19 tests. Some of the health care providers and laboratories that are Conducting Covid-19 tests in Pakistan are as follows:
- National Institute of Health in Islamabad
- Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad
- Shifa International in Islamabad
- Excel labs in Islamabad and Peshawar
- Kulsum International in Islamabad
- Shaukat khanum in Lahore
- Chughtai lab in Lahore and Karachi
- Jinnah Hospital in Lahore
- Lahore General Hospital in Lahore
- Punjab Forensic Science Auth Lab in Lahore
- Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute in Lahore
- Punjab AIDS Control Program including Hepatitis Lab
- Lahore TB Program
- Institute of Public Health in Lahore
- University of veterinary and Animal Sciences in Lahore
- Bahria International Hospital in Lahore and Rawalpindi
- Rawalpindi Medical University in Rawalpindi
- Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) in Rawalpindi
- Citi Lab in Rawalpindi
- Nishtar Medical College in Multan
- Multan TB Program in Multan
- Allied Hospital in Faisalabad
- Private Abwa Hospital & Research Centre in Faisalabad
- Trauma Centre THQ in Wazirabad
- Civil Hospital in Bahawalpur
- DHQ in DG Khan
- Civil Hospital in Karachi
- Jinnah PG Medical Institute in Karachi
- SIUT in Karachi
- Liaqat National Hospital (LNH) in Karachi
- Civil Hospital North Karachi in Karachi
- Ziauddin Hospital in Karachi
- Liaqat University of Medical and Health Sciences in Hyderabad
- Syed Abdullah Shah Institute of Medical Sciences in Sehwan
- Gambit Institute in Sukkur
- Larkano Lab in Larkana
- Hayatabad Medical Complex in Peshawar
- Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) in Peshawar
- Khyber Medical University in Peshawar
- Public Health Lab Ayub Teaching Hospital in Abbottabad
- Private Shaheena Jameel Hospital in Abbottabad
- Saidu Sharif Medical College Hospital in Sawat
- Private Anwar Lab (Pvt) in Sawat
- Mufti Mehmood Memorial Teaching Hospital in D I Khan
- Khalifa Gul Nawaz Teaching Hospital in Bannu
- Mardan Medical Complex in Mardan
- Fatima Jinnah Hospital in Quetta
- Sheikh Zaid Hospital in Quetta
- Bolan Medical College in Quetta
- Mobile Diagnostic Unit in Taftan
- Abbas Institute of Medical Sciences in Muzaffarabad
- DHQ in Mirpur and Gilgit
- Combined Military Hospital in Lahore, Kharian, Gujranwala, Multan, Quetta, Peshawar, Abbottabad, Bannu, Malir Cantt, Pano Aqil, Kohat
Yes, it is possible that you may test negative if your sample was collected early in your infection and test positive later during your illness. In another scenario, you could be exposed to the virus and consequently get infected after the first test was taken.
People can be infected with more than one virus at a time. Therefore, identifying infection with one respiratory virus does not exclude SARS-CoV-2 virus infection.
The countries with no test kits send the samples of people suspected to be infected with the virus to COVID-19 referral laboratories designated by WHO for testing.
Antibody testing involves a person’s blood sample being taken to examine it for antibodies to the virus that causes the novel coronavirus. When someone gets infected with COVID-19, their body usually makes antibodies. However, it typically takes around one to three weeks to develop these antibodies. A positive outcome of this testing means that person was previously infected with the virus. Speak to your healthcare provider regarding what the result of your antibody test really means.
Antibody tests should not be used for diagnosing the novel coronavirus. In order to see if you are infected with Covid-19, you need to take a swab test.
Contact tracing is used by public healthcare authorities to prevent an infectious disease from spreading in any community. In general, contact tracing involves identifying individuals that are infected with a contagious disease as well as the people that came in contact with the infected individuals and working with them to interrupt the spread of the contagious disease. For COVID-19, this includes asking cases to isolate and contacts to quarantine at home voluntarily.
Contract tracing for Covid-19 typically involves the following:
- Interviewing persons infected with the virus to identify the people with which they came in close contact during the time they may have been infectious;
- Notify all the contacts of the infected persons of their potential exposure to the virus;
- Referring the contacts to take diagnostic tests related with Covid-19;
- Monitoring the contacts for Covid-19 symptoms; and
- Helping contacts with services they may need or require during the self-quarantine period.
In the context of COVID-19, a close contact means being closer than six feet apart from a person who is infected with Covid-19 for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before any symptoms began until the time the person recovers.
If you have been around a person who was identified as being in close contact with a COVID-19 patient then you should closely monitor yourself for any signs and symptoms of the dangerous virus. However, you are not required to self-quarantine.
Covid-19 mainly spreads when respiratory droplets are expelled by an infected person through speaking, coughing or sneezing. Many cases have been reported where persons infected with the virus showed no signs and symptoms of it. In the light of this evidence, it is recommended to wear face masks in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain such as pharmacies and grocery stores. Disposable face masks can only be used once.
Wearing face masks when stepping out has been recommended by relevant government authorities in various countries for the following reasons:
- A face mask helps a person in covering his/ her nose and mouth which in turn reduces the risk of the spread of the virus or germs in case that person is infected and starts coughing or sneezing.
- A face mask will help you in reducing the risk of you breathing in droplets that carry a virus like Covid-19.
- A person having the virus with mild or no symptoms at all may be contributing towards the spread of the virus unknowingly.
- Face masks can prevent you from touching your face, and can be a visual reminder for you and others to practice social distancing.
Yes, you are still considered as a close contact even if you were wearing a face mask while you were around someone with the novel coronavirus. Face coverings are meant to prevent people infected with Covid-19 from spreading the disease to others, and not to protect someone from becoming infected.
No. Antibiotics generally don’t work on viruses especially the virus that causes Covid-19, they work only against bacterial infections. These should not be used as any sort of means for preventing or treating COVID-19.
As of yet, there is no vaccine and specific medicine available for treating Covid-19 patients. However, people infected with the virus should receive help and care from healthcare facilities to alleviate signs/ symptoms of Covid-19. Most patients are recovering mainly due to support and care they receive from their family and healthcare providers.
Specific drug treatments and possible vaccines are being investigated. World Health Organization (WHO) is coordinating efforts with different countries as well as other respected health organizations to develop medicines and vaccines to treat patients having Covid-19 .
Meanwhile, you can adopt the following practices to protect yourself and others from the threat of COVID-19:
- Wash or sanitize your hands frequently and thoroughly;
- Avoid touching your mouth nose and eyes;
- Cover your sneeze or cough either with a tissue or by bending your elbow. If you use a tissue then discard it immediately and wash your hands;
- Maintain physical space of at least 6 feet between yourself and others.
The development of vaccines take time. A number of research laboratories and pharmaceutical companies are working on vaccine candidates. It will, however, take months or even years before any vaccine or drug can be widely used, as it needs to undergo testing in clinical trials to determine its efficacy and safety. These trials are essential for regulatory approval and usually take place in three phases. The first phase would involve a few healthy volunteers used for testing the vaccine for safety as well as for identifying any adverse effects. The second phase would involve several hundred people, usually from that part of the world that has been badly impacted by the disease, being used to see how effective the vaccine is in the field, and the third phase would involve doing the same in several thousand people.
The virus that cause Covid-19 and influenza are two different viruses and therefore vaccine for seasonal influenza will not protect against the novel coronavirus.
Certain antiretroviral drugs are being studied as a potential treatment solution for curing the infection. A drug named Fapilavir was recently approved for the treatment of Covid-19 by China. Researchers are also working towards developing vaccines that helps in improving your immunity so that you are able to fight Covid-19.
Neither drinking hot water nor consumption of alcohol helps in killing the virus that causes Covid-19. However, alcohol-based sanitizers helps in killing the virus on your hands but once it gets in your throat, the virus infects the cells and alcohol or hot water cannot help there.
Currently, there is no evidence to show that any medication can lead to a more severe infection of COVID-19.
In general, respiratory viruses are not known to be transmitted through blood transfusion, and as of yet not a single case has been reported that confirmed that coronavirus can spread through transfusion of blood.
Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood that is collected from people who have recovered from Covid-19. People infected with novel coronavirus develop antibodies in their blood that help them fight the virus. Convalescent plasma is being investigated as a potential treatment option for COVID-19 patients because there is some information that indicates towards it being useful in helping some patients in recovering from COVID-19. Further investigation is required to determine whether convalescent plasma can be useful in shortening reduce morbidity, the duration of illness or prevent death associated with novel coronavirus.
In healthcare settings across Pakistan, donated blood is essential towards saving life of patients who are in dire need of it. The need for blood is constant, and blood centers are open and in urgent need of donations. It is recommended that people who are fit and healthy should continue to donate their blood if they are able to do so.
We know that for similar viruses, patients are highly unlikely to be re-infected with the same virus shortly after they recover. However, in case of Covid-19 it is still unclear as to how long immunity lasts after an infection.
Washing hands on a frequent basis is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others related to you from getting infected with Covid-19. Clean your hands by washing them with water and soap for minimum 20 seconds, especially after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose and before preparing food or eating it. If soap and water are not available then use an alcohol based hand sanitizer having at least 60% or more alcohol.
CDC does not encourage and recommend the production of hand sanitizers at home because of concerns regarding the correct use of the ingredients and the need to work under sterile conditions to make the said product. Everyone from entities to individuals should revert to the use of commercially produced, FDA-approved products once such supplies again become available.
Covid-19 mainly spreads when two or more people come in close contact. We already know that most of the viruses related with the coronavirus family have an origin in animals. The possible animal source/ origin of novel coronavirus has not yet been discovered but the investigation regarding the said matter is in process.
Several cats and dogs (including domestic tigers) that came in contact with people infected Covid-19 tested positive for the deadly virus. In addition, ferrets also appear to be susceptible to the threat of Covid-19. In experimental conditions, both ferrets and cats were able to transmit the virus to other animals. However, there is no evidence indicating that these animals can transmit the virus to humans and spread the novel coronavirus even further.
It is recommended that people who are infected with the novel coronavirus and people who are susceptible to the virus should limit contact with family, friends and even animals. When caring for and handling animals, basic cleaning and hygiene measures should always be adopted. This includes washing hands after touching animals, handling their food or other supplies in addition to avoiding licking, kissing or sharing food.
The most important thing to know with regards to surfaces contaminated with Covid-19 is that they can easily be cleaned and disinfected by using common household disinfectants. Various studies have shown that the novel coronavirus can survive for up to 72 hours on stainless steel and plastic, less than 24 hours on cardboard, and less than 4 hours on copper.
After cleaning surfaces in your home or office space, make sure to clean your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer or wash them with water and soap. Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
Based on what we know at this time, pregnant women might be at higher risk of getting infected with Covid-19 as compared to non-pregnant women. Inn addition, there may be a higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes taking place, such as preterm birth, among pregnant women having COVID-19.
The actions pregnant women should take to protect themselves from Covid-19 are as follows:
- Limit your interactions with other people as much as possible.
- Do not skip your prenatal care appointments.
- Take precautions to prevent getting COVID-19 when you do interact with others.
- Ensure that you have at least a 30-day supply of your medicines.
- Consult your healthcare provider regarding staying healthy and taking care of yourself during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Seek help immediately if you have a medical emergency.
You may feel increased stress due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Anxiety and fear can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Learn about stress and how to deal with it.
Yes, newborns are at risk of getting infected with the virus. Some newborns have tested positive for Covid-19 shortly after birth. However, it is still unknown as to whether those newborns got the virus before, during or after birth.
Most newborns that tested for Covid-19 experienced mild or no symptoms and have recovered completely. However, there still have been few reports of newborns with severe illness because of Covid-19. In addition, a small number of other problems such as early birth and other problems with pregnancy have been reported in babies born to mothers who tested for the novel coronavirus.
Research indicates that adolescents and children are just as likely to be infected with Covid-19 as any other person belonging to any age group.
Evidence to date suggests that young adults as well as children infected with Covid-19 are less susceptible to severe complications. However, severe cases can still happen in these age groups.
Children and adults should follow national health guidance on self-isolation and self-quarantine if there is a risk they have been exposed to the virus or exhibiting symptoms. It is particularly important to ensure that children avoid any sort of contact with older people and others who are at risk of more severe disease.
You can encourage your child to help in curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus by teaching them to do the following:
- Avoid contact with people who are ill.
- Stay at home when you are sick, except for getting medical help.
- Cover your sneezes and coughs with a tissue and then dispose-off the tissue using trash cans.
- Clean your hands by washing them with water and soap for 20 seconds minimum.
- If water and soap are available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched objects and surfaces like countertops, tables, light switches, cabinet handles and doorknobs.
No. The symptoms of the novel coronavirus are similar in both adults and children. However, different people experience different symptoms of Covid-19.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone above 2 years should cover their face using face masks when they are in public gatherings or settings. Face coverings should not be put on children younger than 2 because of the danger of suffocation.
No. The key to curbing the spread of COVID-19 is to practice physical distancing. While schools are closed, children should not be playing with children from other households. If children are playing outside their own homes, it is important to ensure that physical distance of at least six feet is maintained.
In order to ensure that your children remains healthy and fit then do the following:
- Watch your children for any signs and symptoms of illness.
- Watch for signs of stress in your children.
- Teach and reinforce necessary precautionary measures.
- Help your children stay active and connected.
Older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk of getting infected from the deadly virus.
If someone in your household is at higher risk of getting sick from COVID-19 then consider extra measures for separating your child from those people.
Consider postponing trips or visits to see older family members. Connect them with through virtual means or by writing letters and sending via mail.
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a medical condition where different parts of body can become inflamed, including the brain, lungs, heart, kidneys, eyes, skin, or gastrointestinal organs. As of yet we do not what causes this condition. However, we do know that many children having this syndrome had the virus that causes the novel coronavirus. MIS-C can have severe implications like death, but most children who had this condition have gotten better with medical support and care.
Develop a plan of action to help preserve your health as well as that of your family and community members in case a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your neighborhood or community:
- Speak with people who want to be a part of your plan, and discuss what can be done to curb the spread of the virus if a COVID-19 outbreak takes place in your community.
- Plan ways to help those who might be more susceptible to serious complications.
- Ensure that people in your community have access to several weeks of medications and other supplies in case they are required to stay at home for prolonged periods of time.
- Create a list of organizations that you and your family members can get in touch with in the event you need healthcare services and other resources.
- Create an emergency contact list of family, neighbors, friends, health care providers, employers, teachers, the local healthcare facility, and other community resources.
In case, if someone in your house tests positive for Covid-19 then make sure to follow the below mentioned directions given by the CDC:
- Person infected with the virus should stay at home, except for getting medical help;
- Seek medical help immediately if a Covid-19 patient experiences symptoms such as consistent pain or pressure in chest and trouble in breathing;
- Use separate room and toilet for the person that is infected with the virus;
- Clean your hands frequently either by washing it with soap and water or by using a hand sanitizer;
- Provide the infected person with disposable face masks to wear at home so that to prevent the spread of the virus in your home and neighborhood;
- Avoid sharing personal items such as food, drinks and utensils.
If the Covid-19 outbreak takes place in your community then stay calm and put your preparedness plan to work, and follow the below mentioned steps:
- Stay at home if you are ill and keep yourself away from people who are sick.
- Limit contact with people as much as possible.
- Stay informed/ updated regarding the Covid-19 situation in your city and country.
- Continue practicing everyday precautionary measures such as cleaning your hands frequently.
- Notify your workplace regarding the Covid19 situation in your locality.
- Stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues through phone or e-mail.
Stay at home for as much time as you can. Speak to your employer regarding working from home, taking leave if you or someone in your home gets infected with Covid-19. Employers should be prepared for more employees wanting to stay at home to care for sick family members in case a Covid19 outbreak takes place in their community.
It is recommended by relevant public health authorities in various counties to not travel abroad due to the global spread of the novel coronavirus.
Covid-19 cases have been reported throughout Pakistan and therefore all travel deemed unnecessary is being discouraged.
Study to date does not suggest anything regarding people getting infected with COVID-19 from food, food packaging or that food animals could be a possible route for the transmission of the virus to humans. The transmission route of Covid-19 is through close contact between persons and through direct contact with droplets produced when an infected person sneezes or coughs.
It is not necessary to disinfect materials that are used for food packaging, but hands should be properly washed after handling food packages and before eating.
It is sufficient to wash vegetables and fruits with potable water. There is no need to use any chemicals for washing fruits and vegetables.
Traveling involves increased exposure for the transmission of COVID-19 for reasons listed as follows:
- A large number of person including the ones infected with Covid-19 will gather at places such as bus terminals, train stations, airport, etc. for travelling purposes.
- Inability to physically distance yourself from other passengers, e.g. on an airplane.
- In case, you are infected with the virus but are not experiencing any signs or symptoms of it then you may transmit the virus to others unknowingly.
- Due to the current situation, travel could be interrupted or suspended at any time which could result in you staying away from home for extended period of time.
Yes, travelling through air requires spending time in security lines and airport terminals, which increases the risk of getting in close contact with other people and frequently touched objects and surfaces. Most germs and viruses do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on planes. However, physical distancing is difficult to maintain on crowded flights, and you may have to sit near a person (within 6 feet), for hours. This may increase the risk of you getting expose to the virus that causes the novel coronavirus.
Some countries are carrying out exit screening for all passengers departing their country. Before being allowed to board a departing flight, you may have your temperature checked and be asked questions about your health and travel history.
All international travelers should stay at home for at least 14 days after landing to their own country. At home, you are required to practice social distancing in addition to monitoring your health. In order to protect the health of others, do not go outside for 14 days.
There is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral with the body of a person who died of COVID-19.
COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about it. The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to mainly spread from close contact with people who are currently infected with COVID-19. The virus spreads primarily through droplets that are produced when an infected person sneezes or coughs just like other respiratory infections spread. This type of spread is not a concern after death.
It may be possible that a person can get infected with COVID-19 by touching an object or surface that has the virus on it and then touching its own eyes, nose or mouth. However, this is not thought to be the main way through which the virus spreads.
It is recommended that people should not touch the body of a person who has died because of COVID-19. There is expected to be a less chance of the virus spreading from certain types of touching, such as holding hand or hugging after the body has been prepared for viewing. Other activities, such as washing, kissing, and shrouding should be avoided before, during, and after the body has been prepared, if possible. If washing or shrouding the body is an essential religious practice, families of the deceased are encouraged to work together with their community’s religious leaders and funeral home staff on how to reduce their exposure as much as possible. At a minimum, people carrying out these activities should wear face masks and disposable gloves.
The belongings of a person who has died of COVID-19 outside their home (for example, in a hospital setting) may be returned to the family of the deceased along with instructions for cleaning and disinfection.
Family members should use disposable gloves and practice good hand hygiene when handling the belongings of the deceased.
Cleaning with water and soap removes dirt, germs, and impurities from objects/ surfaces. Cleaning lowers the risk of the spread of infection. Disinfecting kills bacteria and germs on objects and surfaces. By killing bacteria/ germs on a surface or an object after cleaning further lowers the risk of the spread of infection.
Routine cleaning is the everyday cleaning and hygiene practices which businesses as well as the general public should adopt to develop and maintain a healthy environment. Public areas such as malls and general retail outlets must be extra responsible and cautious about hygiene due to the number of people visit their stores.
Objects or surfaces that have been frequently touched by a number of people, such as door handles, handrails and bathroom surfaces should be cleaned with water and soap or a detergent at least daily when facilities are operational. More frequent routine cleaning and disinfection may be required based on level of use.
It is essential to clean and disinfect commonly touched objects or surfaces such as light switches, doorknobs, tables, desks, countertops, keyboards, handles, phones, faucets, toilets, and sinks. If surfaces in your home or office are dirty then clean them using soap and water or a soap powder prior to disinfection. In order to disinfect dirty surfaces or objects make sure to use most common EPA-registered disinfectants as they will help you in this fight against Covid-19.
It is important to take the following measures when using a disinfectant:
- The disinfectant and its concentration should be selected carefully in order to avoid damaging surfaces and to avoid or minimize the after effects of disinfectants on household members or users of public spaces.
- Avoid combining disinfectants, such as ammonia and bleach since mixtures like these can cause respiratory irritation and release potentially fatal gases.
- Open windows and use fans to ventilate.
- Step away from odors if they become too strong.
- Disinfectants should always be prepared in well-ventilated areas.
- Keep children, pets and other people away during the disinfection process until it is dry and there is no odor.
- Wash your hands after using any disinfectant, including surface wipes.
- Throw away disposable items of your personal protective gear like masks and gloves after the cleaning process.
- The recommended personal protective equipment when cleaning and disinfecting a non-healthcare setting is medical masks, waterproof aprons, rubber gloves and closed shoes. In addition, eye protection may also be needed to protect against chemicals you will be handling during the process of disinfection.
Plan with the senior management for potential changes at your workplace. Speak to your employer or senior manager with regards to emergency operations plan related to Covid-19, including sick-leave policies and telework options. For more information about the best work related guidelines post Covid-19, please see this infographic.
Employees who have Covid-19 symptoms when they come to work or become ill during the day should immediately be separated from others including employees, vendors, customers and visitors and sent home. Employees who develop Covid-19 symptoms when they are not at work should notify their immediate senior and stay home.
In addition, employees are advised to not return to office until they have satisfied the criteria to discontinue their isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider and state or local health department.
Social distancing means avoiding mass public meetings or gatherings and maintaining space of at least 6 feet from others when possible. The Strategies that businesses could use to implement social distance within their offices, include:
- Allowing flexible work hours
- Allowing flexible worksites
- Increasing physical distance between employees at the worksite
- Increasing physical distance between customers and employees
- Implementing flexible meeting and travel options (such as postponing non-essential meetings or events)
- Delivering services through other than traditional means (e.g., on phone, through a video or web)
- Delivering products through delivery
- Downsizing operations.
People in prisons and other detention places live in a closed environment and in close proximity with each other. These conditions facilitate the spread of the virus that causes Covid-19. They also have a greater underlying burden of disease and worse health conditions when compared with the general public, and frequently face greater exposure to risks such as poor hygiene and weak immune system due to poor nutrition, stress, or existing diseases. All these factors play a role in making people that live in prisons more susceptible to Covid-19 infection.
All newly admitted individuals to prisons should be screened for fever and other major Covid-19 symptoms; special attention should be paid to individuals with having contagious viruses/ diseases. If any individual has COVID-19 symptoms or has a prior COVID-19 diagnosis and is still symptomatic, then that person should be put into medical isolation centers until further testing and medical evaluation is possible.
Generally, well-controlled means that your condition is stable, not life-threatening, and laboratory assessments indicate your condition to be similar to those without any underlying medical condition.
It is more cost-effective to screen new prisoners for Covid-19. Unnecessary isolation has negative impacts on mental health.
Community mitigation activities refers to necessary steps and measures that people and communities can take to slow the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Community mitigation is important for a time period before a vaccine or drug becomes widely available.
Yes. The likelihood of a person having Covid-19 contaminating goods is pretty low and in addition the risk of getting infected with the novel coronavirus from a package that has been moved, transported, and exposed to different temperature and conditions is also low.
Yes, it is safe to visit hospitals for check-up or to take care of your patient because Covid-19 patients are being kept in separate wards. However, one must not visit the hospital or other healthcare facilities where Covid-19 patients are kept, at this time, unless it is absolutely necessary. Routine healthcare visits should ideally be postponed until the situation becomes a bit normal.
Exercising poses a potential risk of Covid-19 infection to athletes as well as their coaches. This is an issue specifically in settings where athletes train in groups, engage in contact sports, share tools and equipment or use common areas, including locker rooms. Transmission of the virus occurs through close contact between persons, exposure to a source that has the virus on it that causes the virus, or droplets from an infected individual. However, the benefits of regular physical activity to both physical and mental health is essential towards remaining active during the ongoing pandemic while respecting physical and social distancing, and personal hygiene recommendations.
The best advice to stay away from Covid-19 would include the following:
- Staying at home as much as possible
- Keeping yourself clean
- Washing hands on a frequent basis.
In addition, you should contact a reputed coronavirus spray company to get your home or office disinfected by a coronavirus spray/ disinfectant if you think it has been exposed to the virus that causes Covid-19.