With initial symptoms as mild as of that flu, the coronavirus has taken the world up by a storm.
Over 132,480,335* cases and 2,875,665* deaths around the globe have been reported.
The infection is spreading rapidly and with no cure in hand, prevention is your best bet.
Here is a simple breakdown of all you need to know about the virus.
Source: COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
WHAT IS THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS?
The coronavirus is a new member of the corona family.
It is a respiratory tract infection that exhibits symptoms of flu and causes one to have a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat and fever.
As it grows, it affects the lungs and causes pneumonia. The individual then feels difficulty in breathing and requires immediate attention.
Source: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF THIS VIRUS?
It can impact people of old age and pre-existing health conditions more severely.
The symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include:
Difficulty in breathing
Source: Symptoms of Coronavirus
HOW DOES THIS VIRUS SPREAD?
The virus spreads from person to person. When an individual comes in contact with an infected person, they can catch the virus.
It can be transmitted by breathing in the particles that the person has coughed or sneezed out.
The virus can also be transmitted through a handshake or by touching a surface the infected person has touched.
The experts aren’t certain about how long the virus can survive on a surface. It depends on the environment.
Source: How COVID-19 Spreads
WHAT PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES CAN YOU TAKE TO SAVE YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY?
Wash your hands often and that too with medicated soap.
Avoid crowds and gatherings.
Keep yourself hydrated. Drink lukewarm water.
Avoid traveling yourself. If you’ve made travel plans, carry a mask and sanitizer with you. Also, call your airport helpline to make sure that your flight is scheduled because many flights to and from infected areas are being canceled and postponed.
Avoid touching your face.
Avoid meeting people who have traveled to infected places.
Practice good hygiene. When you cough or sneeze. Cover your mouth.
Source: How to Protect Yourself & Others
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE IS SUSPECTED TO HAVE THE VIRUS?
If you experience fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and you have traveled to an infected place and have had contact with an infected person in the last 14 days you should go to your nearest primary health center immediately, or call:
Ministry of Public Health Hotline
HOW HAS LIFE IN QATAR BEEN IMPACTED BY THE VIRUS?
Qatar has temporarily banned travelers from 14 countries from March 9 as a precaution against the rapidly spreading coronavirus. The schools, universities and some offices have also been closed down. Qatari nationals and residents have been called on to avoid all but essential travel at this time.
On March 9, Qatar temporarily banned travelers from 14 countries as a precaution against the rapidly spreading coronavirus. The schools, universities and some offices were also closed down. Qatari nationals and residents were called on to avoid all but essential travel at that time.
On March 18, Qatar stopped all incoming flights to Doha for a 14-day period that can be extended. Cargo and transit flights are exempted from the ban.
On March 27, Qatar closed all non-vital businesses such as cafes, education sport services and centers, arts and theater services and workshops, entertainment services, wedding and event services, shoe and watch repair kiosks. However, vital sectors like supermarkets and pharmacies are to remain open.
On April 2, The Ministry of Public Health has launched a drive through Covid-19 testing service for individuals who have been undergoing quarantine at home. The drive through testing was reserved for those people who meet all the following criteria:
Those who have returned to Qatar from overseas between 10 March and 21 March.
Those who have been undergoing quarantine at home and have signed an official undertaking for this.
Those who have not been swabbed to test for COVID-19 since returning to their home.
To arrange a time and to register for testing, one can call 16060 (choosing Option 2). While calling the following documents should be kept ready:
Contact phone number
Address details (to include blue-plate details)
Date of return to Qatar
Flight number of return flight