Table of Contents

Coronavirus Update Africa | Coronavirus-Covid-19 Updates in Africa

Coronavirus update in Africa show that this disease (Coronavirus-COVID-19) is a fast-spreading infectious disease caused by a newly discovered COVID-19. coronavirus virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is spread through sneezing or coughing (droplet infection), human to human contact, and contact with contaminated surfaces. So it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

Most people infected with the coronavirus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illnesses.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes, and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently and not touching your face.

At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for coronavirus. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings become available?

The world is currently faced with a pandemic of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), a new virus that spreads so fast through droplet infection especially in crowded places and causes illness.

This Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) was declared by the People’s Republic of China on 31st December 2019. The coronavirus  is affecting 213 countries and territories around the world and 2 international conveyances. It has spread to all continents and many countries including Uganda. It is important that the population remains on high alert and diligently exercises preventive measures to avoid contracting Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19 Coronavirus | Coronavirus update africa

  • Fever
  • Running Nose (flu)
  • Cough
  • General Weakness
  • Difficulty in breathing if the patient develops pneumonia

At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for coronavirus. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments.

Most common symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Tiredness

Less common symptoms:

  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • A rash on the skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes

Reported illnesses range from mild symptoms to severe illness and sometimes death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Running Nose (flu)
  • Cough
  • General Weakness
  • Difficulty in breathing if the patient develops pneumonia

Prevention of COVID-19| Coronavirus update africa

Protect yourself and others around you by knowing the facts and taking appropriate precautions. Follow the advice provided by your local public health agency.

To prevent the spread of coronavirus:

  • Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention. Call in advance.
  • Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Avoiding unneeded visits to medical facilities allows healthcare systems to operate more effectively, therefore protecting you and others.

COVID-19 | CORONAVIRUS  FAQs

This is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and animals and can spread from person to person through sneezing and coughing droplets. This virus had signs and symptoms similar to the common cold but is dangerous and if not reported early and managed by health workers it can cause severe illnesses in humans and can lead to death.

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. COVID-19 is now a pandemic affecting many countries globally.

There are ongoing studies on the origins of the virus. However, the current outbreak started in a large animal and seafood market in China, in a city called Wuhan.

Initially, the virus was believed to be spread to humans through contact with infected animals. Currently, transmission is human-human. It occurs when an infected person’s sneeze or cough droplets comes into contact with others.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

COVID-19 is mainly spread through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing or has other symptoms such as fever or tiredness. Many people with coronavirus experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true in the early stages of the disease. It is possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has just a mild cough and does not feel ill.

Some reports have indicated that people with no symptoms can transmit the virus. It is not yet known how often it happens. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the topic and will continue to share updated findings.

To self-quarantine means to separate yourself from others because you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 even though you, yourself, do not have symptoms.During self-quarantine you monitor yourself for symptoms.  The goal of the self-quarantine is to prevent transmission.  Since people who become ill with coronavirus can infect people immediately self-quarantine can prevent some infections from happening.  .

In this case:

  • Have a large, well-ventilated single room with hand hygiene and toilet facilities
  • If this is not available place beds at least 1 metre apart.
  • Keep at least 1-metre distance from others, even from your family members.
  • Monitor your symptoms daily
  • Self-quarantine for 14 days, even if you feel healthy
  • If you develop difficulty breathing, contact your healthcare provider immediately – call them first if possible.
  • Stay positive and energized by keeping in touch with loved ones by phone or online, and by exercising yourself at home.

However, if you live in an area with malaria or dengue fever it is important that you do not ignore symptoms of fever.  Seek medical help.  When you attend the health facility wear a mask if possible, keep at least 1 metre distant from other people and do not touch surfaces with your hands. If it is a child who is sick help the child stick to this advice.

If you have minor symptoms, such as a slight cough or a mild fever, there is generally no need to seek medical care. Stay at home, self-isolate and monitor your symptoms. Follow national guidance on self-isolation.

However, if you live in an area with malaria or dengue fever it is important that you do not ignore symptoms of fever.  Seek medical help.  When you attend the health facility wear a mask if possible, keep at least 1 metre distance from other people and do not touch surfaces with your hands. If it is a child who is sick help the child stick to this advice.

Seek immediate medical care if you have difficulty breathing or pain/pressure in the chest. If possible, call your health care provider in advance, so he/she can direct you to the right health facility.

WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways that COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets are relatively heavy, do not travel far and quickly sink to the ground. People can catch COVID-19 if they breathe in these droplets from a person infected with the virus.  This is why it is important to stay at least 1 meter) away from others. These droplets can land on objects and surfaces around the person such as tables, doorknobs and handrails.  People can become infected by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.  This is why it is important to wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand rub.

If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you may be infected.

Close contact means that you live with or have been in settings of less than 1 metre from those who have the disease. In these cases, it is best to stay at home.

However, if you live in an area with malaria or dengue fever it is important that you do not ignore symptoms of fever. Seek medical help. When you attend the health facility wear a mask if possible, keep at least 1 metre distant from other people and do not touch surfaces with your hands. If it is a child who is sick help the child stick to this advice.

If you do not live in an area with malaria or dengue fever please do the following:

  • If you become ill, even with very mild symptoms you must self-isolate
  • Even if you don’t think you have been exposed to COVID-19 but develop symptoms, then self-isolate and monitor yourself
  • You are more likely to infect others in the early stages of the disease when you just have mild symptoms, therefore early self-isolation is very important.
  • If you do not have symptoms, but have been exposed to an infected person, self-quarantine for 14 days.

If you have definitely had COVID-19 (confirmed by a test) self-isolate for 14 days even after symptoms have disappeared as a precautionary measure – it is not yet known exactly how long people remain infectious after they have recovered. Follow national advice on self-isolation.

Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Most countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and many are experiencing outbreaks. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing their outbreaks. However, the situation is unpredictable so check regularly for the latest news.

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre distance between yourself and others. Why? When someone coughs, sneezes, or speaks they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person has the disease.
  • Avoid going to crowded places. Why? Where people come together in crowds, you are more likely to come into close contact with someone that has COVID-19 and it is more difficult to maintain physical distance of 1 metre.
  • 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 infect you.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and wash your hands. Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
  • Stay home and self-isolate even with minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover. Have someone bring you supplies. If you need to leave your house, wear a mask to avoid infecting others. Why? Avoiding contact with others will protect them from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, but call by telephone in advance if possible and 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 spread of viruses and other infections.
  • Keep up to date on the latest information from trusted sources, such as WHO or your local and national health authorities. Why? Local and national authorities are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (COVID19). Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus such as;

  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have serious heart conditions
  • People who are immunocompromised
    • Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
  • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
  • People with diabetes
  • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
  • People with liver disease

WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.

Don’t forget Health workers | Coronavirus update africa

Why?  Health workers are the most likely to be exposed to the COVID-19 virus because they are in close contact with patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and their surrounding environment. However, there are also reports of many health workers who are infected with the COVID-19 virus outside of the health facilities.

In areas where there are many people infected with COVID-19 in the community, health workers and caregivers should wear a medical mask while in clinical areas throughout the shift (apart from eating and drinking or needing to change the mask for specific reasons). This includes any clinical area, and in particular, triage and emergency rooms, family physician/GP practices, outpatient departments, COVID-19 dedicated units, haematological, cancer and transplant units, long-term health and residential facilities. It includes doctors, nurses, midwives, cleaners, and others working in clinical areas.

This is in addition to the previously WHO recommended practices that health workers caring for suspect or confirmed COVID-19 patients should follow droplet/contact precautions where a medical mask is part of the PPE package of recommendations, that includes: surgical gown, gloves, medical mask, and eye protection.

Please note, this is different from respirators, which are recommended for use in the context of where aerosol generating procedures are performed in health settings for a suspect/confirmed COVID-19 patient. In these settings, WHO recommends the use of airborne and contact precautions.

The most important thing to know about coronavirus on surfaces is that they can easily be cleaned with common household disinfectants that will kill the virus. Studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus can survive for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, less than 4 hours on copper and less than 24 hours on cardboard.

As, always clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

While initial investigations suggest the virus may be present in faeces in some cases, to date, there have not been reports of faecal-oral transmission of COVID-19. Additionally, there is no evidence to date on the survival of the COVID-19 virus in water or sewage.

WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share new findings on this topic.

The time between exposure to COVID-19 and the moment when symptoms start is commonly around five to six days but can range from 1 – 14 days.

COVID-19 LATEST UPDATES

The Chairperson of the Bushenyi district COVID-19 task force has directed all journalists in the district to undergo a mandatory virus test. According to the recent results released from the Ministry of Health, two people have been confirmed positive to COVID-19 in Bushenyi and were reported as alerts. Since the lockdown was lifted, Uganda is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases.

Last week, all local government staff at Bushenyi were subjected to compulsory testing and asked to stay home as the administration block was being fumigated after one of them was reported to have tested positive.

Jolly Tibemanya now says that journalists also need to undergo mandatory testing because they interact with many people and have attended the district taskforce meetings and this exposes them to contracting the virus.

He says that the room has already been booked and a special doctor at the health centre in Bushenyi will pick their samples.

Jonas Tumwine, BFM’s managing director, welcomed the order saying media are busy asking other people to follow SOPs, adding that it’s important for them to check too.

Chris Muganzi, the chairperson Bushenyi Journalists and Media Association says it is supposed to be voluntary testing as it involves psychological torture and no one will be there to counsel them. He welcomed the idea though but wants it to be voluntary.

Tibemanya says the facility has counsellors who provide such services and will help advise the journalists.

Felix Ekiregabazana, of Crane FM in Ishaka, said he was happy to have his samples taken because he often encounters various groups of people in the field and Bushenyi is one of the districts that has had a group event. “I am very happy to be checked as I connect with a lot of people and now Uganda is having a lot of group cases.”

The Ministry of Health today reported 318 new cases of COVID-19 in Uganda making it the highest number recorded in a single day since the pandemic started.

Hit hardest is the Amuru Jail, where 153 inmates with the Coronavirus were found to be healthy.

In the midst of the rising cases, the Ministry of Health also mentioned several institutions in Kampala including Malaysia Furnishing, Royal Pharma, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, IGG, KCCA, Toyota, NRM Secretariat, Eagle Holdings, Megha Industries, New Vision Media Houses, NBS, NTV, BBS and private clusters.

“This highlights the need to ensure that workplaces strictly observe the Standard Operating Procedures and Infection, Prevention and Control measures to limit the spread of COVID-19,” Minister of Health Ruth Aceng said.

Uganda has also recorded 1 COVID-19 death, a 49-year-old male from Mbale district bringing the total cumulative COVID-19 deaths to 20.

The cumulative number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Uganda is 2,166.

Amuru Hospital Cases

Since one of the prisoners in Amuru prisons reported COVID-19 as signs and symptoms last week the Ministry of Health launched an inquiry.

“The Ministry of Health has conducted further inquiries in Amuru Prisons, in light of the above. 153 of the 205 inmates tested positive. Of the 28 prison staff, 1 tested positive for COVID-19, “Aceng said.

Since then, the Ministry working with Uganda Prison Services has transferred all of the reported 152 inmates to Gulu Central Prison, which serves as an auxiliary isolation centre.

The inmates are currently being attended to by a combined team from Mulago National Referral Hospital and Gulu RRH supporting the Uganda Prisons Services health team for appropriate management.

Gizamba, a 49-year-old pastor at the community cornerstone church in Nkoma district, died on Wednesday at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital in the northern division of Mbale city.

According to the director of the Mbale hospital, Dr Emmanuel Tugaineyo, the samples from the deceased were collected shortly after his death and taken to Kampala where they turned positive.

He said the patient showed signs of COVID-19 and symptoms that included breathing problems among others.

Dr Tugaineyo said the hospital had held the body because before the burial on Saturday in Bugsege sub-county in Sironko district was conducted at the Mbale city morgue.

However, relatives of the deceased have refuted claims by the medics saying that their person had pressure which he could have died of but not coronavirus.

Charles Wogali, one of the relatives said the shepherd has long been complaining about the strain. Wogali said he was surprised when medics told him he died of COVID-19.

He wonders why any family members of the pastor were not quarantined or their samples were selected for research.

Asad Gulaoba, Bujoloto cell chairman says the deceased has been his vice-chairman but he would complain about chest pain whenever they met in meetings.

Nevertheless, the Mbale District Surveillance Officer Edward Nyongesa said the underlying conditions of pressure and diabetes were the ones that contributed to the victim’s swift demise.

He cautioned people against any talk of pretending that COVID-19 doesn’t exist claiming the disease is in the communities right now.

Gizamba ‘s death brings to two the number of victims who died at Mbale from COVID-19. Also confirmed to have died in Mbale Hospital was another 60-year-old Hamis Shafic, a resident of Budi B village in the former Namanyonyi sub-county in Mbale district, last week.

Since that time Uganda has recorded 20 COVID-19 deaths.

In just a day, Uganda declared 97 new cases of COVID-19, adding the to the 318 a day earlier. Among the patients, the Uganda Police Force Chief Political Commissar Asan Kasingye reported that he had tested positive for COVID-19. In a tweet, Kasingye said ” BAD NEWS!! I’AM COVID19 POSITIVE. 💥”

The cumulative total confirmed cases are now 2,263 but at a healthy 1,226 with recoveries.

The Information and ICT Minister Judith Nabakooba Sunday also addressed media outlets, warning of a new phase as cases continued to increase.

“We all now know that Uganda’s battle against COVID-19 has reached a critical stage. Therefore, the public collectively must admit that we have to blame ourselves for the present situation. We haven’t taken the guidance of our experts seriously, “Nabakooba said.

She confirmed that the capital city of Kampala has now turned out to be the main source of COVID-19 infections and deaths. Kampala had reported 65 new cases as earlier.

Kitgum district COVID-19 task force ordered for the immediate closure of Kitgum maternity home, a central-division private health facility after eight of its health workers tested COVID-19 positive. Health workers are part of 17 people who, according to results released from the Central Public Health Laboratory [CPHL], tested positive for the contagion today in Kitgum district. In an interview on Friday, Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech told URN that the positive cases are all contacts from a confirmed positive Lamwo district.

Komakech says that the health facility will now be shut down to ensure that all staff and any patients who have come into touch with the health workers are identified and put under quarantine.

Reports from URN indicate that the positive cases are all primary contacts of an aspirant vying for the seat of the Lamwo district chairman who tested positive for COVID-19 in Madiopei sub-county last week. During a meeting on Friday, a laboratory specialist at Kitgum General Hospital told the task force members that the politician had made contacts with the health workers while seeking medical treatment some time ago.

He states that after he tested positive, 11 of the 39 primary contacts rounded off from Kitgum municipality were from Kitgum maternity home. Eight of his contacts from Kitgum maternity home, seven from his Apollo grounds residence and one health worker from the Kitgum General Hospital tested positive for COVID-19, he said.

In the central division, the RDC also described Apollo grounds as one of the region’s COVID-19 hotspots, noting that any form of business that attracts gatherings and excessive movements will be subject to a lockdown.

Komakech called for collective caution citing the fact that COVID-19 network transmissions have already begun to manifest themselves.

Six suspected COVID-19 patients are currently undergoing quarantine at St Joseph’s Kitgum Hospital, says Kitgum District Health Officer Dr Alex Olwedo. This is the highest number of cases reported in a single day in the district of Kitgum taking the total confirmed cases to 19 since March this year.

The supervisory team was still mobilizing for transportation this evening to trace all 17 positive patients for immediate referral to Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.

The Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA has listed 59 commercial buildings which do not meet standard operating procedures for COVID-19 management and control.

Earlier today, the minister in charge of Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs Betty Amongi told reporters that the city task force had inspected a number of commercial buildings, especially arcades, which were opened in July and found that some of them did not follow standard operating procedures.

After more than four months of a closure imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease several of the arcades were opened last month. Upon reopening, they were expected to set up isolation centres, provide hand-washing facilities at the entrances, CCTV cameras at all exits and a team to follow all directives from the Ministry of Health.

However, one month down the road, the city authorities have observed that the guidelines were all discarded. The non-compliant buildings which have been cited include Mini Price centre, Vienna Business centre, Boost Complex, Arrow complex, Naiga Chambers, Tropical Complex, Senna Arcade, Masaka Jubilee, SB plaza, King Fahd Plaza, Sun City Arcade, Lucky Complex, Sserwaniko Music Centre, Faiba Arcade, City Centre Complex, MM Plaza, Majestic Plaza and Namaganda Plaza.

On the same list is Freeman Foundation ventre, Energy centre, Total Business centre,Natik Plaza, Kisekka Traders Arcade, Mogadishu Business Centre, Katonga business centre, Farmer’s Mall, Esco plastics, New Taxi Park Mall, New Container Village, Jesco Beauty centre, Jamboree, Pentagon, Atlanta Textile, Qualicel Bus Terminal, French plaza, Printers House, and Nabukeera Plaza.

Also listed is Genesis plaza, Planet plaza, Venue plaza, Fair House, Nasser printers, Elite apartments, Jenna plaza, Nasser Nkrumah plaza, Kooki towers, Namayiba plaza, Ivory plaza, Zainab Aziiza Emporium, Edmul building, Numak, Bhatia building, Tweese plaza, Tesco Plaza, The Mall, Sun City plaza, Fortune plaza and Roofing building.

Amongi says that they have given notices to the people concerned and declared an ultimatum of seven days for them to comply or face closure.

When the government began partial lifting of the lockout, standard operating procedures were set as a way to curb coronavirus disease spread. For every person, over six years it became compulsory to wear a face mask whenever in public and to wash hands before using public transport or entering shopping centres.

In markets, vendors had to maintain a distance of one meter from each other and from customers. Taxis were allowed to hold just half their capacity while boda bodas had to keep customer information and sanitize their seats before boarding. Nonetheless, the public will not follow any of these guidelines.

Amongi urged obedience before hinging on another potential lockout in Kampala.

As of yesterday, 1,750 confirmed cases of COVID 19 had been registered in Uganda, of these 394 in Kampala. Fifteen of the 19 deaths so far reported are also from Kampala.

KCCA acting director of Public Health and Environment Dr Daniel Okello Ayen says almost every parish in Kampala has a confirmed case, yet still, the numbers are rising swiftly. Dr Okello says the public needs to be more vigilant and observe SOPs issued by government.

Ten more refugees have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement Area in Kikuube District.

Dr. Nicholas Kwikiriza, the Kikuube District Health Officer – DHO says the confirmed cases are settlement contacts from the Congolese national who succeeded in the pandemic on August 8, 2020.

The ten people are a part of 124 suspects who were quarantined after the Congolese refugee’s death.

Richard Tabaro, the RDC-Commissar of the Kikuube Resident District, has asked people in the refugee settlement area with Covid19 about symptoms to give up for testing to health officers.

Kyangwali Refugee settlement was home to more than 120,072 refugees, according to Uganda-Refugee Statistics as of June 2020. Congolese refugees form the majority of the population in the settlement, which also hosts Rwandan, Burundian, South Sudanese, Somalis and Kenyan nationals.

Five Radio Pacis workers in Arua were isolated at the Arua hospital after checking COVID-19 positively.

The five include two security guards posted on the transmitting tower of the radio station, the cashier station and two presenters attached to the 94.5-fm studios broadcasting in Madi, Luo and Alur languages.

The Arua Diocese media centre in Ediofe has also quarantined three other employees who were in close touch with the five.

The station decided to conduct a test for all 91 staff, and when the results were released on Monday night and five were positive, according to Paul Bishop Drileba, the Arua District Health Officer.

“We told you, people, that you stand a high risk by virtue of your work as journalists and you can see what has happened to Radio Pacis staff,” remarked Drileba. Drileba adds that they are also tracing for all the guests who appeared in the 94.5 FM studios from 11th August to 17th August.

Gaetano Apamaku, the station manager Radio Pacis confirmed the cases. He says that they have agreed with the task force to quarantine the three contacts at the station.

Apamaku explains that the station will remain open while the staff and visitors have been asked to observe the Standard Operating Procedures- SOPs.

Radio Pacis which is owned by Arua diocese has over 90 staff employed at Ediofe where there are two broadcast frequencies and in Gulu where they run a third frequency.

Mbale Regional Referral Hospital has stopped accepting COVID-19 patients for the second time due to room constraints. Dr Emmanuel Tugaineyo, director of the hospital, says all 50 beds in the COVID-19 isolation unit are filled.

The Mbale Regional Referral Hospital serves 16 districts in sub-regions Bugisu, Bukedi and Sebei. At present, it has admitted patients from the Tororo, Busia and Bukwo border districts. Yet Dr Tugaineyo says new admissions have been halted before the old patients are discharged.

“I told my team not to accept any patient because we were running out of beds now. Once those who have recovered are discharged, we will restart admissions, “Dr Tugaineyo said.

All new patients are now being transferred to Lira, Moroto, Jinja Regional Referral hospitals which pose some of them with a huge challenge. Dr Tugaineyo says they got a donation from Absa bank for a tent with the capacity to host ten beds, but due to lack of beds, they still have to install it.

The Mbale District Health Officer, Dr Jonathan Wangisi, has warned of the rising Covid-19 cases arising from community infections.

At least 156 patients went through the Isolation Unit of the Mbale Regional Referral Hospital. In June, in the isolation unit that operated in the ambulatory department, the hospital ran out of space, prompting management to move them to the mental health unit.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Operations

The global COVID-19 outbreak is leading to an acute and drastic shortage of essential supplies, including personal protective equipment, diagnostics and clinical management.

At the request of the UN Secretary-General and WHO Director-General and in support of the UN Crisis Management Team, a Supply Chain Task Force has been convened to establish the COVID-19 Supply Chain System (CSCS).

  • Avoid handshaking and hugging at all times.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are visibly sick with flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, and sneeze).
  • When sick with flu-like symptoms avoid going to public places, offices and public gatherings. Remain at home to avoid infecting others.
  • You do not need to wear medical masks if you do not have respiratory symptoms such as cough, sneezing, or running nose.
  • Don’t take self-medication such as antibiotics.

Do NOT spit in public. Find a secluded place like toilets or pit latrines in which to spit.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or, use an alcohol-based hand rub. This will remove the virus if it is on your hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with tissue or a handkerchief when coughing and sneezing. Throw away the used tissue immediately into a dustbin or burn it and wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub. The handkerchief must be washed by yourself daily, dried, and ironed with a hot iron. In this way, you protect others from any virus released through coughs and sneezes.
  • Maintain a reasonable distance between yourself and someone who is coughing, sneezing (at least 1 meter apart).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces, which can be contaminated with the virus, and you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.
  • If you have fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing, seek medical care immediately. If possible, call a health worker and alert them about your condition. Always follow the guidance of your health care worker.
  • People with flu-like symptoms should use face masks to cover the nose and mouth and stay home in a well-ventilated room.
  • If you are caring for individuals who have symptoms, such as cough and fever you are encouraged to use a facemask to cover your nose and mouth for personal protection.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs/handles, car doors, elevator buttons, etc. daily with a regular household disinfectant or soap and water.

Treatment for COVID-19 Coronavirus 

To date, there are no specific vaccines or medicines for COVID-19. Treatments are under investigation and will be tested through clinical trials.

However, WHO is bringing the world’s scientists and global health professionals together to accelerate the research and development process, and develop new norms and standards to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and help care for those affected.

The R&D Blueprint has been activated to accelerate diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics for this novel coronavirus.

The solidarity of all countries will be essential to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 health products.

Medical treatments

If you have mild symptoms and are otherwise healthy, self-isolate and contact your medical provider or a COVID-19 information line for advice.

Seek medical care if you have a fever, a cough, and difficulty breathing. Call in advance.

While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of mild COVID-19, there are no medicines that have been shown to prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials of both western and traditional medicines. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19 and will continue to provide updated information as soon research results become available.

The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to:

  • Clean your hands frequently and thoroughly
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
  • Cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue. If a tissue is used, discard it immediately and wash your hands.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from others.

No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses; they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

Self-care

Coronavirus Update Africa-If you feel sick you should rest, drink plenty of fluid, and eat nutritious food. Stay in a separate room from other family members, and use a dedicated bathroom if possible. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

Everyone should keep a healthy lifestyle at home. Maintain a healthy diet, sleep, stay active, and make social contact with loved ones through the phone or the internet. Children need extra love and attention from adults during difficult times. Keep to regular routines and schedules as much as possible.

It is normal to feel sad, stressed, or confused during a crisis. Talking to people you trust, such as friends and family, can help. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to a health worker or counsellor.

Protecting yourself and others from getting COVID-19

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and others. Why? When someone coughs, sneezes, or speaks 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, including the COVID-19 virus if the person has the disease.
  • Avoid going to crowded places. Why? Where people come together in crowds, you are more likely to come into close contact with someone that has COIVD-19 and it is more difficult to maintain a physical distance of 1 metre (3 feet).
  • 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 infect you.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and wash your hands. Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
  • Stay home and self-isolate even with minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover. Have someone bring you supplies. If you need to leave your house, wear a mask to avoid infecting others. Why? Avoiding contact with others will protect them from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, but call by telephone in advance if possible and 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 spread of viruses and other infections.
  • Keep up to date on the latest information from trusted sources, such as WHO or your local and national health authorities. Why? Local and national authorities are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

Practising hand and respiratory hygiene is important at ALL times and is the best way to protect others and yourself.

When possible maintain at least a 1-meter distance between yourself and others. This is especially important if you are standing by someone who is coughing or sneezing.  Since some infected persons may not yet be exhibiting symptoms or their symptoms may be mild, maintaining a physical distance with everyone is a good idea if you are in an area where COVID-19 is circulating.

Masks

Masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission and save lives; the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection against COVID-19. You should also maintain a minimum physical distance of at least 1 metre from others, frequently clean your hands and avoid touching your face and mask.

Medical masks can protect people wearing the mask from getting infected, as well as can prevent those who have symptoms from spreading them. WHO recommends the following groups use medical masks.

  • Health workers
  • Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, including people with mild symptoms
  • People caring for suspect or confirmed cases of COVID-19 outside of health facilities

Medical masks are also recommended for these at-risk people, when they are in areas of widespread transmission and they cannot guarantee a distance of at least 1 metre from others:

  • People aged 60 or over
  • People of any age with underlying health conditions

Non-medical, fabric masks are being used by many people in public areas, but there has been limited evidence on their effectiveness and WHO does not recommend their widespread use among the public for control of COVID-19. However, for areas of widespread transmission, with limited capacity for implementing control measures and especially in settings where physical distancing of at least 1 metre is not possible – such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments – WHO advises governments to encourage the general public to use non-medical fabric masks.

If you choose to wear a mask:

  1. Before touching the mask, clean hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  2. Take the mask and inspect it for tears or holes.
  3. Orient which side is the top side (where the metal strip is).
  4. Ensure the proper side of the mask faces outwards (the coloured side).
  5. Place the mask to your face. Pinch the metal strip or stiff edge of the mask so it moulds to the shape of your nose.
  6. Pull down the mask’s bottom so it covers your mouth and your chin.
  7. Do not touch the mask while you are wearing it for protection.
  8. After use, take off the mask with clean hands; remove the elastic loops from behind the ears while keeping the mask away from your face and clothes, to avoid touching potentially contaminated surfaces of the mask.
  9. Discard the mask in a closed bin immediately after use. Do not reuse the mask.
  10. Perform hand hygiene after touching or discarding the mask – Use alcohol-based hand rub or, if visibly soiled, wash your hands with soap and water.

Be aware that there is a global shortage of medical masks (both surgical masks and N95 masks). These should be reserved as much as possible for health care workers.

Remember that masks are not a substitute for other, more effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 such as frequently washing your hands, covering your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from others. See basic protective measures against the new coronavirus for more information.

Follow the advice of your national health authority on the use of masks.

WHO recommends that people always consult local authorities on recommended practices in their area.

If there is widespread community transmission, and especially in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained, governments should encourage the general public to wear a fabric mask. WHO also provides details on the composition of a fabric mask and how to safely wear one.

Medical masks (also known as surgical masks): these are made from a minimum of three layers of synthetic nonwoven materials, and configured to have filtration layers sandwiched in the middle. These masks are available in different thicknesses, have various levels of fluid-resistance and two levels of filtration. These medical masks reduce the respiratory droplets from the wearer to others and to the environment. They also prevent transmission of the virus from others to the wearer.

Hands should be cleaned with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water before putting on a clean mask and after removing the mask. These masks should be worn tightly on the face. The wearer should avoid touching the mask while it is on the face and the mask should be immediately discarded if it becomes moist. Importantly, wearing a mask must be combined with other preventive measures including performing frequent hand hygiene and physical distancing of at least 1 metre.

Respirators (also known as filtering facepiece respirators – FFP) and available at different performance levels such as FFP2, FFP3, N95, N99): these are specifically designed for healthcare workers who provide care to COVID-19 patients in settings and areas where aerosol generating procedures are undertaken. Healthcare workers should be fit tested before using a respirator to ensure that they are wearing the correct size.

Non-medical masks (also known as fabric masks, home-made masks, DIY masks) can act as a barrier to prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others.

They can be purchased commercially or handmade, and are generally not standardized like medical masks. There are numerous types of fabric masks, they should cover the nose, mouth, and chin and be secured with elastic loops or ties, include multiple layers, be washable and reusable.

Remember, the use of a fabric mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection. Maintain a minimum physical distance of at least 1 metre from others, frequently clean your hands and continue to avoid touching your face and the mask.

WHO will be referring to non-medical masks as fabric masks.

Medical masks should only be used by:

  • Health workers
  • Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, including mildly ill people
  • People caring for a suspect or confirmed cases of COVID-19 outside of health facilities
  • People aged 60 or over
  • People with underlying health conditions

It is important to remember that the use of masks should be combined with other key infection prevention and control measures such as hand hygiene and physical distancing, as they do not protect against COVID-19 on their own.

Currently, there is not enough evidence for or against the use of masks (medical or other) in healthy individuals in the wider community. However, WHO is actively studying the rapidly evolving science on masks and continuously updates its guidance.

Medical masks are recommended primarily in health care settings but can be considered in other circumstances (see below). Medical masks should be combined with other key infection prevention and control measures such as hand hygiene and physical distancing.

Healthcare workers

Why? Medical masks and respirators such as N95, FFP2 or equivalent are recommended for and should be reserved for, healthcare workers while giving care to patients. Close contact with people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and their surrounding environment are the main routes of transmission, which means healthcare workers are the most exposed.

People who are sick and exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19

Why? Anyone who is sick, with mild symptoms such as muscle aches, slight cough, sore throat or fatigue, should isolate at home and use a medical mask according to WHO’s recommendation on home care of patients with suspected COVID-19. Coughing, sneezing or talking can generate droplets that cause can spread the infection. These droplets can reach the face of others nearby and land in the surrounding environment. If an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks while wearing a medical mask, this can help to protect those nearby from infection. If a sick person needs to go to a health facility they should wear a medical mask.

Anyone taking care of a person at home who is sick with COVID-19

Why? Those caring for individuals who are sick with COVID-19 should wear a medical mask for protection. Again, close, frequent and prolonged contact with someone with COVID-19 puts caretakers at high risk. National decision-makers may also choose to recommend medical mask use for certain individuals using a risk-based approach. This approach takes into consideration the purpose of the mask, risk of exposure and vulnerability of the wearer, the setting, the feasibility of use and the types of masks to be considered.

For countries that are considering the use of masks, WHO advises decision-makers to apply a risk-based approach to decide where, when and what type of masks should be used.  WHO advises decision makers to consider the following:

Purpose of mask use: if the intention is preventing the wearer transmitting infection to others (source control) or to offer protection to the wearer against infection (prevention).

Risk of exposure to COVID-19 to the population or individual:

  • Population level exposure measured by the amount of COVID-19 circulation in the community: that is, if there is known or suspected community transmission occurring.
  • Individual level exposure depending on a person’s occupation: e.g., individuals working in close contact with the public (e.g., community health worker, cashier).

Vulnerability of the mask wearer/population: for example, if supplies are adequate, medical masks should be used by people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, immunocompromised patients or diabetes mellitus of any age, or people aged 60 and over.

Setting in which the population lives: settings with high population density (e.g. refugee camps, those living in cramped conditions) and settings where individuals are unable to keep a safe distance (e.g. crowded buses or other transport).

Feasibility: availability and costs of masks, access to clean water to wash non-medical masks, and ability of mask wearers to tolerate adverse effects of wearing a mask.

Type of mask: medical mask versus non-medical mask. Medical masks should be prioritized for health workers, symptomatic people and their caregivers.

In addition to these factors, potential advantages of the use of masks by the general population in the community setting include reducing potential exposure risk from an infected person during the ‘pre-symptomatic’ period or if an infected person is asymptomatic (that is when they may not have symptoms).

There are potential risks and disadvantages that should be taken into account in any decision-making process on the use of masks:

  • Non-medical or fabric masks could increase potential for COVID-19 to infect a person if the mask is contaminated by dirty hands and touched often, or kept on other parts of the face or head and then placed back over the mouth and nose
  • Depending on the type of mask used, could cause difficulty in breathing
  • They can lead to facial skin breakdown
  • They can lead to difficulty with communicating clearly
  • They can be uncomfortable to wear
  • It is possible that mask use, with unclear benefits, could create a false sense of security in the wearer, leading to diminished practice of recognized beneficial preventive measures such as physical distancing and hand hygiene.

How to put on and take off a medical mask:

  • Before touching the mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • Inspect the mask for tears or holes; do not use a mask that has previously been worn or is damaged.
  • Verify which side is the top – this is usually where the metal strip is
  • Then, identify the inside of the mask, which is usually the white side.
  • Place the mask on your face covering your nose, mouth and chin, making sure that there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Pinch the metal strip so it moulds to the shape of your nose.
  • Remember, do not touch the front of the mask while using it to avoid contamination; if you accidentally touch it, clean your hands.

How to take off a medical mask:

  • Before touching the mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • Remove the straps from behind the head or ears, without touching the front of the mask.
  • As you remove the mask, lean forward and pull the mask away from your face.
  • Medical masks are for single use only; discard the mask immediately, preferably into a closed bin.
  • Clean your hands after touching the mask.
  • Be aware of the condition of the mask; replace it if it gets soiled or damp.

 

At the present time, the widespread use of masks everywhere is not supported by high-quality scientific evidence, and there are potential benefits and harms to consider.

However, there are some settings in which it may not be possible to keep physical distancing and the use of a mask could be helpful to provide a barrier to limit the spread of potentially infectious droplets from someone who is infected. In addition, there is some evidence which suggests that some infected people without showing symptoms may be able to transmit the virus others.

For this reason, WHO advises that governments should encourage the use of non-medical fabric masks, which can act as a barrier to prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others where there are many cases of COVID-19, for people in the general public where physical distancing of at least 1 metre is not possible – such as, on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments.

It is important to note that masks should only be used as part of a comprehensive strategy. Masks on their own will not protect you from COVID-19. People should also clean their hands frequently and maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from others.

WHO is actively studying and encouraging research on the science of masks. New research findings identified the following preferable types of fabrics, number of layers and the composition of a non-medical, fabric mask:

  • an inner layer of absorbent material such as cotton
  • a middle layer of non-woven material such as polypropylene
  • an outer layer of non-absorbent material, such as polyester or polyester blend

Using a fabric mask:

  • Clean your hands before putting on the mask.
  • Inspect the mask for tears or holes, do not use a mask that is damaged.
  • Adjust the mask to cover your mouth, nose, and chin, leaving no gaps on the sides.
  • Avoid touching the mask while wearing it.
  • Change your mask if it gets dirty or wet.
  • Clean your hands before taking off the mask.
  • Take off the mask by removing it from the ear loops, without touching the front of the mask.
  • Clean your hands after removing the mask.

 

Caring for a fabric mask:

  • If your fabric mask is not dirty or wet and you plan to reuse it, put it in a clean plastic, resealable bag. If you need to use it again, hold the mask at the elastic loops when removing it from the bag.
  • Wash fabric masks in soap or detergent and preferably hot water (at least 60 degrees) at least once a day.
  • If hot water is not available, wash the mask in soap/detergent and room-temperature water, followed by either boiling the mask for 1 minute OR; by soaking the mask in 0.1% chlorine for 1 minute and thoroughly rinsing the mask with room temperature water (there should not be any toxic residue of chlorine on the mask).

Make sure you have your own mask and do not share it with others.

No, WHO does not recommend the use of gloves by people in the community. The wearing of gloves may increase risk of infection, since it can lead to self-contamination or transmission to others when touching contaminated surfaces and then the face.

Therefore, in public places such as supermarkets, in addition to physical distancing, WHO recommends the installation of public hand hygiene stations at the entrance and exit.

By widely improving hand hygiene practices, countries can help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

WHO recommends that people always consult local authorities on recommended practices in their area.

It is an important reminder that in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone, regardless of the use of masks, should:

  • avoid groups of people and crowded spaces;
  • maintain a physical distance of at least 1 meter from other people, especially from those who are sick;
  • clean your hands frequently, using an alcohol-based hand rub if hands are not visibly dirty, or soap and water;
  • cover your nose and mouth with a bent elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing, dispose of the tissue and clean your hands immediately after use;
  • Refrain from touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.

Above all, stay informed of the progress of the disease, pay attention to local authorities and their recommendations, and follow and encourage best practices.

Hand Sanitizers

Advice on the safe use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers

To protect yourself and others against COVID-19, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water. If you use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, make sure you use and store it carefully.

    • Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizers out of children’s reach. Teach them how to apply the sanitizer and monitor its use.
    • Apply a coin-sized amount on your hands. There is no need to use a large amount of the product.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose immediately after using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, as it can cause irritation.
    • Hand sanitizers recommended to protect against coronavirus are alcohol-based and therefore can be flammable. Do not use before handling fire or cooking.
    • Under no circumstance, drink or let children swallow an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It can be poisonous.
    • Remember that washing your hands with soap and water is also effective against coronavirus.

Quarantine

If the country decides to put arriving passengers, those not displaying symptoms, in a quarantine facility, the following needs to be considered, in accordance with Article 32 of the IHR:

  • Infrastructure: there is no universal guidance regarding the infrastructure for a quarantine facility, but space should be respected not to further enhance potential transmission and the living placement of those quarantined should be recorded for potential follow up in case of illness.
  • Accommodation and supplies: travellers should be provided with adequate food and water, appropriate accommodation including sleeping arrangements and clothing, protection for baggage and other possessions, appropriate medical treatment, means of necessary communication if possible, in a language that they can understand and other appropriate assistance. A medical mask is not required for those who are quarantined. If masks are used, best practices should be followed5.
  • Communication: establish appropriate communication channels to avoid panic and to provide appropriate health messaging so those quarantined can timely seek appropriate care when developing symptoms.
  • Respect and Dignity: travellers should be treated, with respect for their dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms and minimize any discomfort or distress associated with such measures, including by treating all travellers with courtesy and respect; taking into consideration the gender, sociocultural, ethnic or religious concerns of travellers.
  • Duration: up to 14 days (corresponding with the known incubation period of the virus, according to existing information), may be extended due to a delayed exposure.

Self-isolation is an important measure taken by those who have coronavirus symptoms to avoid infecting others in the community, including family members.

Self-isolation is when a person who is experiencing fever, cough or other coronavirus symptoms stays at home and does not go to work, school or public places. This can be voluntarily or based on his/her health care provider’s recommendation. However, if you live in an area with malaria or dengue fever it is important that you do not ignore symptoms of fever. Seek medical help. When you attend the health facility wear a mask if possible, keep at least 1 metre distant from other people and do not touch surfaces with your hands. If it is a child who is sick help the child stick to this advice.

If you do not live in an area with malaria or dengue fever please do the following:

–  If a person is in self-isolation, it is because he/she is ill but not severely ill (requiring medical attention)

  • have a large, well-ventilated with hand-hygiene and toilet facilities
  • If this is not possible, place beds at least 1 metre apart
  • Keep at least 1 metre from others, even from your family members
  • Monitor your symptoms daily
  • Isolate for 14 days, even if you feel healthy
  • If you develop difficulty breathing, contact your healthcare provider immediately – call them first if possible
  • Stay positive and energized by keeping in touch with loved ones by phone or online, and by exercising yourself at home.

Quarantine means restricting activities or separating people who are not ill themselves but may have been exposed to COVID-19. The goal is to prevent spread of the disease at the time when people just develop symptoms..

Isolation means separating people who are ill with symptoms of COVID-19 and may be infectious to prevent the spread of the disease.

Physical distancing means being physically apart. WHO recommends keeping at least 1-metre distance from others. This is a general measure that everyone should take even if they are well with no known exposure to COVID-19.

Personnel

Health Care Workers: trained personnel should be assigned for the observation and follow up of these passengers in the quarantine facility. These health care workers should be equipped with the basic PPEs and commodities needed to deal with the suspected cases (medical/surgical masks, gowns, gloves, face shields or goggles, hand sanitizers and disinfectants). Additional commodities are needed for surveillance, lab and clinical management of the 2019-nCoV6. Additionally, they should be trained on case definitions, infection prevention and control measures, and the initial management of suspected cases to perform the following interventions7:

  • Active surveillance: to identify suspected cases;
  • Isolate suspected cases and ensure safe transport: strictly adhere to infection prevention and control (IPC) measures and social distancing procedure to prevent the potential spread of the infection to others;
  • Collect laboratory samples: to test for the 2019-nCoV in the national reference laboratory or international laboratories in the absence of the lab testing capacity;
  • Manage cases clinically: Identify ambulances and designated health facilities to refer cases to for the necessary isolation, treatment and follow up. Adhere to strict IPC measures to prevent the spread of the infection among health care workers or other patients;
  • Trace contacts: to identify other potential cases within the quarantine facility, test, isolate and treat as necessary. Extend and adapt quarantine period to correspond to the incubation period of the delayed exposure;
  • Share data: on the number and description of cases with WHO using the WHO reporting forms and in accordance to Article 6 of the IHR.

Other Support Staff: personnel responsible for administrative work and cleaning service should also be trained and properly briefed on signs and symptoms of the disease and provided with appropriate PPEs, as needed.

Adults & Children 

Research indicates that children and adolescents are just as likely to become infected as any other age group and can spread the disease.

Evidence to date suggests that children and young adults are less likely to get severe disease, but severe cases can still happen in these age groups.

Children and adults should follow the same guidance on self-quarantine and self-isolation if there is a risk they have been exposed or are showing symptoms. It is particularly important that children avoid contact with older people and others who are at risk of more severe disease.

Coronavirus & Animals

Coronavirus is spread through human-to-human transmission.

We already know a lot about other viruses in the coronavirus family and most of these types of viruses have an origin in animals. The COVID-19 virus (also called SARS-CoV-2) is a new virus in humans. The possible animal source of COVID-19 has not yet been confirmed but research is ongoing.

WHO continues to monitor the latest research on this and other coronavirus topics and will update, as new findings are available.

Several dogs and cats (domestic cats and tigers) in contact with infected humans have tested positive for coronavirus. In addition, ferrets appear to be susceptible to the infection. In experimental conditions, both cats and ferrets were able to transmit the infection to other animals of the same species. However, there is no evidence that these animals can transmit the disease to humans and spread COVID-19. COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.

Minks raised in farms have also been detected with the virus. Most likely, they have been infected by farmworkers. In a few instances, the minks that were infected by humans have transmitted the virus to other people. These are the first reported cases of animal-to-human transmission.

It is still recommended that people who are sick with coronavirus and people who are at risk limit contact with a companion and other animals. When handling and caring for animals, basic hygiene measures should always be implemented. This includes hand washing after handling animals, their food or supplies, as well as avoiding kissing, licking or sharing food.

WHO continues to monitor the latest research on this and other COVID-19 topics and will update as new findings are available.

Affected areas

“Affected areas” are considered those countries, provinces, territories or cities experiencing ongoing transmission of coronavirus, in contrast to areas reporting only imported cases. As of 27 February 2020, although China, particularly the Province of Hubei, has experienced sustained local transmission and has reported by far the largest number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak, lately the situation in China showed a significant decrease in cases. At the same time, an increasing number of countries, other than China, have reported cases, including through local transmission of COVID-19. As the epidemic evolves, it will be expected that many areas may detect imported cases and local transmission of coronavirus. WHO is publishing daily situation reports on the evolution of the outbreak?

The outbreaks reported so far have occurred primarily within clusters of cases exposed through close-contacts, within families or special gathering events. COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through droplets from, and close contact with, infected individuals. Control measures that focus on prevention, particularly through regular hand washing and cough hygiene, and on active surveillance for the early detection and isolation of cases, the rapid identification and close monitoring of persons in contacts with cases, and the rapid access to clinical care, particularly for severe cases, are effective to contain most outbreaks of COVID-19.

Coronavirus Recommendations 

Countries should intensify surveillance for unusual outbreaks of influenza-like illness and severe pneumonia and monitor carefully the evolution of COVID-19 outbreaks, reinforcing epidemiological surveillance. Countries should continue to enhance awareness through effective risk communication concerning COVID-19 to the general public, health professionals, and policymakers, and to avoid actions that promote stigma or discrimination. Countries should share with WHO all relevant information needed to assess and manage COVID-19 in a timely manner, as required by the International Health Regulations (2005).

Countries are reminded of the purpose of the International Health Regulations to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease in ways that are commensurate with and restricted to public health risks, and which avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade. Countries implementing additional health measures which significantly interfere with international traffic are required to provide to WHO, within 48 hours of implementation, the public health rationale and relevant scientific information for the measures implemented. WHO shall share this information with other States Parties. Significant interference generally means refusal of entry or departure of international travellers, baggage, cargo, containers, conveyances, goods, and the like, or their delay, for more than 24 hours.

WHO continues to engage with its Member States, as well as with international organizations and industries, to enable implementation of travel-related health measures that are commensurate with the public health risks, are effective and are implemented in ways which avoid unnecessary restrictions of international traffic during the coronavirus outbreak.

It is prudent for travellers who are sick to delay or avoid travel to affected areas, in particular for elderly travellers and people with chronic diseases or underlying health conditions.

General recommendations for personal hygiene, cough etiquette and keeping a distance of at least one metre from persons showing symptoms remain particularly important for all travellers. These include:

  • Perform hand hygiene frequently, particularly after contact with respiratory secretions. Hand hygiene includes either cleaning hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub. Alcohol-based hand rubs are preferred if hands are not visibly soiled; wash hands with soap and water when they are visibly soiled;
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing and disposing immediately of the tissue and performing hand hygiene;
  • Refrain from touching mouth and nose;
  • A medical mask is not required if exhibiting no symptoms, as there is no evidence that wearing a mask – of any type – protects non-sick persons. However, in some cultures, masks may be commonly worn. If masks are to be worn, it is critical to follow best practices on how to wear, remove and dispose of them and on hand hygiene after removal.

As for any travel, travellers are also advised to follow proper food hygiene practices, including the five keys for food safety, as well as recommendations to reduce the risk of transmission of emerging pathogens from animals to human in live markets.

Travellers returning from affected areas should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days and follow national protocols of receiving countries. Some countries may require returning travellers to enter quarantine. If symptoms occur, such as fever, or cough or difficulty breathing, travellers are advised to contact local health care providers, preferably by phone, and inform them of their symptoms and their travel history. For travellers identified at points of entry, it is recommended to follow WHO advice for the management of travellers at points of entry. Guidance on the treatment of sick passengers on board of aeroplanes is available on ICAO and IATA websites. Key considerations for the planning of large mass gathering events are also available on the WHO website. Operational considerations for managing COVID-19 cases on board of ships has also been published.

For countries which decide to repatriate nationals from affected areas, they should consider the following to avoid further spread of COVID-19: exit screening shortly before flight; risk communication to travellers and crew; infection control supplies for the voyage; crew preparedness for possibility of sick passenger in flight; entry screening on arrival and close follow-up for 14 days after arrival.

Advice for exit screening in countries or areas with ongoing transmission of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV (currently People’s Republic of China)

  • Conduct exit screening at international airports and ports in the affected areas, with the aims early detection of symptomatic travellers for further evaluation and treatment, and thus prevent the exportation of the disease. while minimizing interference with international traffic;
  • Exit screening includes checking for signs and symptoms (fever above 38°, cough), interview of passengers with respiratory infection symptoms leaving the affected areas with regards to potential exposure to high-risk contacts or to the presumed animal source, directing symptomatic travellers to further medical examination, followed by testing for 2019-nCoV, and keeping confirmed cases under isolation and treatment;
  • Encourage screening at domestic airports, railway stations, and long-distance bus stations as necessary;
  • Travellers who had contact with confirmed cases or direct exposure to a potential source of infection should be placed under medical observation. High-risk contacts should avoid travel for the duration of the incubation period (up to 14 days);
  • Implement health information campaigns at Points of Entry to raise awareness of reducing the general risk of acute respiratory infections and the measures required, should a traveller develop signs and symptoms suggestive of infection with the 2019-nCoV and how they can obtain assistance.

Advice for entry screening in countries/areas without transmission of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV that choose to perform entry screening

  • The evidence from the past outbreaks shows that effectiveness of entry screening is uncertain, but it may support risk communication strategy by providing information to travellers from affected countries/areas to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections and to seek medical attention early if they develop symptoms compatible with the infection.
  • During the current outbreak with the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV, a number of exported cases were detected through entry screening implemented by some countries. Symptomatic cases may be detected through temperature screening at Point of Entry, for whom medical examination and laboratory tests will be conducted for confirmation. Temperature screening to detect potential suspect cases at Point of Entry may miss travellers incubating the disease or travellers concealing fever during travel and may require substantial investments. A focused approach targeting direct flights from affected areas could be more effective and less resource demanding.
  • Currently, the northern hemisphere (and China) is in the midst of the winter season when Influenza and other respiratory infections are prevalent. When deciding implementation of entry screening, countries need to take into consideration that travellers with signs and symptoms suggestive of respiratory infection may result from respiratory diseases other than 2019-nCoV and that their follow-up may impose an additional burden on the health system. National policy and capacities should be taken into account during the decision-making process.
  • If entry screening is implemented, temperature screening should always be accompanied by the dissemination of risk communication messages at Points of Entry. This can be done through posters, leaflets, electronic bulletin, etc, aiming at raising awareness among travellers about signs and symptoms of the disease, and encouragement of health care seeking behaviour, including when to seek medical care, and report of their travel history.
  • Countries implementing temperature screening are encouraged to establish a proper mechanism for data collection and analysis, e.g. numbers of travellers screened and confirmed cases out of screened passengers, and the method of screening.
  • Public health authorities should reinforce collaboration with airline operators for case management on board an aircraft and reporting, should a traveller with respiratory disease symptoms are detected, in accordance with the IATA guidance for cabin crew to manage suspected communicable disease on board an aircraft.

Previous advice with regards to procedures for an ill traveller detected onboard a plane and requirements for IHR capacities at Points of Entry remains unchanged.

WHO advises against the application of any restrictions on international traffic based on the information currently available on this event?

WHO continues to advise against the application of travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.

In general, evidence shows that restricting the movement of people and goods during public health emergencies is ineffective in most situations and may divert resources from other interventions. Furthermore, restrictions may interrupt needed aid and technical support may disrupt businesses and may have negative social and economic effects on the affected countries. However, in certain circumstances, measures that restrict the movement of people may prove temporarily useful, such as in settings with few international connections and limited response capacities.

Travel measures that significantly interfere with international traffic may only be justified at the beginning of an outbreak, as they may allow countries to gain time, even if only a few days, to rapidly implement effective preparedness measures. Such restrictions must be based on a careful risk assessment, be proportionate to the public health risk, be short in duration, and be reconsidered regularly as the situation evolves.

Travel bans to affected areas or denial of entry to passengers coming from affected areas are usually not effective in preventing the importation of cases but may have a significant economic and social impact. Since WHO declaration of a public health emergency of international concern in relation to coronavirus, and as of 27 February, 38 countries have reported to WHO additional health measures that significantly interfere with international traffic in relation to travel to and from China or other countries, ranging from denial of entry of passengers, visa restrictions or quarantine for returning travellers. Several countries that denied entry of travellers or who have suspended the flights to and from China or other affected countries are now reporting cases of coronavirus.

Temperature screening alone, at exit or entry, is not an effective way to stop the international spread, since infected individuals may be in the incubation period, may not express apparent symptoms early on in the course of the disease, or may dissimulate fever through the use of antipyretics; in addition, such measures require substantial investments for what may bear little benefits. It is more effective to provide prevention recommendation messages to travellers and to collect health declarations at arrival, with travellers’ contact details, to allow for a proper risk assessment and a possible contact tracing of incoming travellers.

 People who are sick and exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus or may suspect they have COVID-19

Why? Anyone who is sick, even with mild symptoms such as muscle aches, slight cough, sore throat or fatigue, should isolate at home and use a medical mask. Coughing, sneezing or talking can generate droplets that can spread the infection. These droplets can reach the face of others nearby or land on the surrounding environment. If an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks wearing a medical mask, this helps to protect those nearby from infection. Sick people needing to go to a health facility should wear a medical mask.

Anyone taking care of a person at home who is sick with coronavirus

Why? Those caring for individuals who are sick with COVID-19 should wear a medical mask for protection. Close and frequent contact with someone with COVID-19 can put those caring for them at high risk.

People 60 years old and over or anyone with pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, or cancer)

Why? These people should wear a medical mask for protection because they are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill with the disease and dying.

Remember, the use of a fabric mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection. Maintain a minimum physical distance of at least 1 metre from others, frequently clean your hands and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose while wearing a mask.

WHO recommends that people always consult local authorities on recommended practices in their area.

COUNTRY CORONA VIRUS UPDATES

World-Health-Organization-Coronavirus-update-africa
World Health Organization
CONGO W.H.O
Africa Centres for disease control & prevetion
worldometers-Coronavirus update africa
worldometers corona virus statistics
hopkins updates
john hopkins universty corona virus statistics