The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the rapidly spreading coronavirus as a pandemic Wednesday.
According to WHO’s Director-General, Adhanom Ghebreyesus, over 118,000 persons have contracted the scourge with 4,300 people dying worldwide.
Ghebreyesus said he expects the outbreak to worsen.
“We expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher,” he said as Italy tightened its coronavirus quarantine.
Bars, restaurants, hairdressing and beauty salons had been closed in Europe’s hardest-hit country – except for supermarkets, food stores, and chemists after recording the highest daily increase in mortalities outside China since the outbreak.
“Thank you to all Italians who make sacrifices. We are proving to be a great nation,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a televised address. “We will only be able to see the effects of this great effort in a couple of weeks.”
“The country needs responsibility from all of us, the responsibility of 60 million Italians that are making small and large sacrifices every day,” Conte added of the measures that will take effect from Thursday until March 25.
As the spread of the deadly outbreak is gaining pace around the world with cases confirmed in Africa including Algeria, Burkina Faso, Togo, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria, and Ivory Coast—Ghana and Gabon have ratcheted their response measures.
For instance, Ghana’s president, Akufo-Addo announced a temporary ban on foreign travels by the country’s all public officials. The country further earmarked $100million to enhance the country’s preparedness and response plan for potential cases.
“This fight, fellow Ghanaians, cannot be that of Government alone. It is for all of us. I urge the media to join this cause fully and help disseminate effectively information on the dos and donts of the disease.
“The information to be put out, however, must be that approved by health authorities, and not just from any piece of literature found on the internet, as false materials are already being spread from other jurisdictions,” he said.
Again with the rising panic following the declaration of the coronavirus as global pandemic, President Trump suspended travel to the United States from most of Europe.
The suspension, which begins Friday will last for 30 days.
“The restriction applies to foreign nationals who have been in the Schengen Area, 26 countries in Europe with open borders agreements, in the last 14 days,” a White House statement said. “Those who are exempt from these restrictions, such as American citizens, will be directed to a limited number of airports where screening can take place.
“There is extensive travel back and forth between Europe that heightens the risk here in the United States.”
With the rising fears of a global outbreak, Face2face Africa presents to you the WHO guide on how you can protect yourself from contracting the fast-spreading scourge.
Wash your hands frequently
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 social distancing
Maintain at least 1 meter (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, including 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. 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.
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 fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. 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.
Let’s all kindly adhere to the guide and make the world safe.