The World Health Organisation has officially stated that the current COVID19 situation is a pandemic. A pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations.
The main symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Shortness of breath
- Acute diarrhea
In severe cases, symptoms may also include:
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome
- Kidney failure
Here are some recommended individual actions that you should take.
Wash your hands frequently
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based (60% by volume and above) hand rub or wash them with soap and water for AT LEAST 20 seconds.
- Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain social distancing
- Stay at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Why? When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, and with them, the COVID-19 virus, if the person coughing has the disease.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
- Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Practice respiratory hygiene
- Make sure you and the people around you follow good respiratory hygiene. Wear a mask when you leave home. For disposable masks, remove them without touching the outside surface and throw away in a CLOSED bin. Reusable masks should be washed with soapy water or detergent and left to dried overnight.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately in a CLOSED BIN or flush down the toilet.
- Why? Droplets spread the virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
- Stay home if you feel unwell. Members of the disabled communities should have friends and relatives check on them several times a day, to make sure that everything is fine. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and contact the COVID19 Help Line at 877-WELL (877-9355) immediately. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
- Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
Stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider
- Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow the advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
- Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves
You can download the PDF file here.