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Memo on COVID-19


Deputy Director


on precautions to reduce the risk of infection with the new coronavirus infection and to maintain personal and public hygiene

Kyiv - 2020

Information about the virus
Coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common all over the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China in January 2020.
The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 and 14 days. This means that if a person feels well 14 days after contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, they have not been infected.
Signs and symptoms of COVID-19
After contact with an infected person with SARS-19 within 14 days, the following symptoms may occur:
- cough
- shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
- fever (fever)
Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, the elderly, and those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and chronic lung disease.
What are the complications?
Viral pneumonia is the leading complication. The deterioration of viral pneumonia is rapid, and many patients develop respiratory failure within 24 hours, requiring immediate respiratory support with mechanical ventilation.
Timely treatment helps to alleviate the severity of the disease.
How COVID-19 spreads
From what we know about other coronaviruses, the spread of COVID-19 is most likely to occur through close contact (less than 2 meters) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.
Respiratory secretions produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes that contain the virus are most likely the main ways the disease spreads.
There are 2 main ways COVID-19 spreads:
- the infection can spread among people through close contact with infected people (within 2 meters) or it is possible that it can enter the lungs.
- It is also possible that someone can become infected by touching a surface, object, or hand of an infected person contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (for example, by touching a door handle or shaking hands and then touching their own face).

The virus does not live on surfaces for longer than 72 hours.
There is currently little evidence that people who do not have symptoms are contagious to others.

How long the virus can survive
The length of survival of any respiratory virus will depend on a number of factors, such as
- what surface the virus is on
- whether it is exposed to sunlight
- changes in temperature and humidity
- exposure to cleaning products
In most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to be significantly reduced within 72 hours.
Once such viruses get on their hands, they survive for a very short time. Regular cleaning of hard surfaces and hands will help reduce the risk of infection.

Wash your hands regularly.
Regularly treat your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why is it necessary? If there is a virus on the surface of your hands, treating your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap will kill it.
Follow the rules of respiratory hygiene.
When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bend your elbow;

immediately throw the tissue into a trash container with a lid and treat your hands with an alcohol-based antiseptic or wash them with soap and water.

Why is it necessary? Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing can prevent the spread of viruses and other pathogens. If you cover your nose and mouth with your hand when coughing or sneezing, germs can get on your hands and then on objects or people you touch.
Keep your distance in public places. Keep at least 1 meter away from people, especially if they have a cough, runny nose, and fever.
Why is it necessary? By coughing or sneezing, a person with a respiratory infection such as SARS-19 spreads small droplets containing the virus around them. If you are too close to such a person, you can catch the virus by breathing in the air.

If possible, do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands.
Why is it necessary? Hands touch many surfaces on which the virus may be present. By touching hands that may contain an infection, to the eyes, nose, or mouth, you can transfer the virus from the skin of the hands to the body.
In case of fever, cough, and breathing difficulties, seek medical help as soon as possible.
If you have visited countries where cases of SARS-19 have been detected or have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms of respiratory illness after a trip to such countries, tell a healthcare professional.
Why is it necessary? Fever, cough, and difficulty
breathing requires immediate medical attention, as it may be caused by a respiratory infection or other serious illness. Respiratory symptoms in combination with fever can have a variety of causes, including, depending on the patient's travels and contacts, SARS-19.
If you have mild respiratory symptoms and have not visited countries where cases of SARS-19 have been detected
If you have mild respiratory symptoms and have not visited countries where cases of
If you have mild symptoms of respiratory illness and have not traveled to countries where cases of SARS-19 have been reported, you should carefully observe basic respiratory and hand hygiene and, if possible, stay at home until you recover.
As a general precaution, follow the usual hygiene rules when visiting food markets where live animals, meat and poultry, or other animal products are sold
After touching animals or animal products, wash your hands regularly with soap and water; do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth; avoid contact with sick animals, and do not touch spoiled animal products. Categorically avoid any contact with other animals in the market (stray cats or dogs, rodents, birds, bats). Avoid contact with potentially contaminated waste or liquids of animal origin on the floor or other surfaces in shops or market stalls.
Do not eat raw or undercooked products of animal origin

According to the rules of food safety, special care should be taken when handling raw meat, milk, or animal organs to avoid cross-contamination with food that has not been heating treated.
How to wear a medical mask correctly?
Medical masks can have different designs. They can be disposable or reusable. There are medical masks
that last 2, 4, and 6 hours. The cost of these masks is different, due to different impregnation. But you can not wear the same mask all the time, thus you can infect yourself twice. It does not matter which side of the medical mask is worn inside.
To protect yourself from infection, it is extremely important how to wear it correctly:
- the mask should be carefully fixed, tightly covering the mouth and nose, leaving no gaps;
- try not to touch the surfaces of the mask when removing it, if you touch it, wash your hands thoroughly with soap or alcohol;
- a wet or damp mask should be replaced with a new, dry one;
- do not reuse a disposable mask;
- used disposable medical masks should be immediately disposed of. When caring for a patient, after contact with the patient, the medical mask should be removed immediately. After removing the mask, wash your hands immediately and thoroughly.
The mask is appropriate if you are in a crowded place, on public transport, as well as when caring for a patient, but it is inappropriate outdoors.
While being on the street, it is useful to breathe fresh air, and therefore you should not wear a mask.
However, doctors remind that this single measure does not provide complete protection against the disease. In addition to wearing a mask, other preventive measures should be taken.

At the workplace, it is necessary to provide additional breaks in the work schedule for ventilation and routine disinfection of the premises.

Appendix 1


(Memo on self-isolation)

Stay at home
You or the person you care for should stay in your home, except when receiving medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public places, and do not use public transport or taxis until you are told it is safe to do so. You will need to ask for help if you need groceries, other shopping, or medication. Alternatively, you can order by phone or online. Delivery instructions should state that items should be left outside, on the porch, or next to your home.
Separate yourself from other people in your home
You should be in a well-ventilated room with a window to the outside that can be opened, separate from other people in your home.
Keep doors closed. Use a private bathroom if possible. If you have to share common things, you will need to clean regularly.
If a separate bathroom is not available, consider sharing the bathroom so that the isolated person uses the bathroom last before thoroughly cleaning the bathroom (if possible or appropriate). Make sure the isolated person uses separate towels, both for bathing and hand hygiene.
If you are living in shared accommodation (university dormitories or similar) with a common kitchen, bathroom(s), and living area, you should stay in your room with the door closed, leaving only when necessary, wearing a face mask if you have been issued one.
If you share a kitchen with other people (e.g. university halls, etc.), avoid being there if possible
when others are present. If this is not possible, then wear a face mask if you have been issued one. Take food with you to your room to eat. Use a dishwasher (if available) to clean and dry used dishes and cutlery. If this is not possible, wash them by hand using detergent and warm water, and dry them thoroughly using a separate towel.

If these recommendations cannot be followed, you should avoid isolation at home.

Call in advance before visiting the doctor.

All doctor visits should be discussed in advance with the prescribing doctor using the number you have been given. This is so that the hospital can make arrangements to minimize contact with others.

Wear a face mask if recommended

If you have been provided with a face mask, you should wear the mask when you are in the same room as other people and when you visit the medical service. If you cannot wear a face mask, people who live with you should wear one while they are in the same room as you.
Cover yourself when you cough and sneeze
Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze. Caregivers who are being tested for 2019-i-CoV infection should use disposable tissues to wipe mucus or phlegm after they have sneezed or coughed.
Discard the tissues in a plastic trash bag and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, rinse and dry thoroughly. Caregivers should wash their hands as well as help the person they are caring for after coughing or sneezing.
Wash your hands
Wash your hands or help the person you are caring for with hand washing.
This should be done frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, rinse thoroughly and dry. The same applies to those who care for those who are tested for SARS-CoV-2. Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid sharing household items
You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with other people in your home when you have used them (or after your child or person you care for has used them). After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water; dishwashers can be used to clean dishes and cutlery.
Bed linen and towels should be placed in a plastic bag and washed as soon as it is known that the SARS-CoV-2 tests are negative.
Monitor your symptoms (or the person you are caring for, as appropriate)
Seek medical attention quickly if your illness worsens, for example, if you have difficulty breathing or if it is observed with the person you care for deteriorating. If it is not an emergency, you should call the medical contact number provided, quoting the number you were given.

If it is an emergency and you need to call an ambulance, inform the operator that you are being tested for SARS-CoV-2 (or that you are caring for someone who is being tested for SARS-CoV-2, as appropriate).
Do not receive visitors at home

Only those who live in your home should be in your home. Do not invite or allow visitors to come in. If you think there is a need for someone to visit, discuss it with your doctor first.
All waste from an infected person, including used tissues and masks if used, should be placed in a plastic garbage bag and tied when full. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second garbage bag and tied.
If the individual test is positive, you will be instructed on what to do with the waste.
Perform hand hygiene after any contact with the patient or their immediate environment. Hand hygiene should also be used before and after food preparation, before eating, after toileting, and whenever your hands look dirty.

If there is no visible contamination on the hands, you can use an alcohol-based hand rub. Practice hand hygiene using soap and water when hands are visibly soiled. Address safety concerns (e.g. accidental ingestion and fire hazard) before recommending alcohol-based hand rubs for household use.
It is advisable to use disposable paper hand towels when using soap and water. If not, use individual cloth towels and replace them when they become damp.
Annex 2


During any epidemic, people usually feel stressed and anxious. Characteristic reactions for most people affected (both directly and indirectly) may include:
- fear of getting sick and dying;
- avoiding going to medical facilities for fear of getting infected;
- fear of losing livelihoods, not being able to work during isolation, and being unemployed;
- Fear of being socially isolated or quarantined due to association with the disease (e.g. discrimination against persons who
come from or are perceived to come from affected areas);
- feeling powerless to protect loved ones and fear of losing loved ones to the virus;
- fear of being separated from loved ones due to quarantine;
- refusal to care for minors left without care, people with disabilities, or the elderly due to fear of infection because parents or guardians were quarantined;
- feelings of helplessness, boredom, loneliness, and depression due to isolation
- fear of reliving the experience of previous epidemics
Emergencies are always stressful, but the specific stressors affecting the population that are characteristic of JEEP-19 are as follows
- the risk of exposure and infection of other people, especially the specifics of the transmission of MERS-19 is not 100% understood;
- common symptoms of other health problems (e.g., fever) may be mistaken for MERS-19 and generate fear of infection;
- parents may feel more anxious about children being home alone (due to school closures) without appropriate care and support;
- the risk of deteriorating physical and mental health of vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and people with disabilities, if their caregivers are quarantined and they are left without care
and support.

(с) 2024

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