Protective measures against COVID-19

Flattening the curve

To prevent infection and to slow transmission of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), do the following:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub;
  • Maintain at least 2 meter distance between you and other people;
  • Avoid touching your face;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing;
  • Stay home if you feel unwell;
  • Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.

Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak through your national and local public health authority. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. That's why you should take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:

Wash your hands frequently

Washing your hands with soap and water or cleaning using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

So, it is imperative that you frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water for at least 30 seconds.

  • Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  • Soap and water: Soap and water are the best option, especially if hands are visibly dirty.

Maintain social distancing

Respiratory droplets (Pflugge droplets) can carry microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses and constitute a medium for the transmission of infectious diseases. When someone coughs or sneezes 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 coughing has the disease.

  • Maintaining at least 2 meters (5 feet) distance between yourself and others will protect you to become infected.

Practice respiratory hygiene

Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

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. Do not cover your mouth and nose with your hand as you can spred a possible infection by touching!

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

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.

  • Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

If you have fever, cough and breathing difficulties, seek medical care early

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.

  • Stay home: Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you stay away from others. You should stay in a specific "sick room" if possible and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.

Stay informed and follows advice given by your healthcare provider

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.

Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from Coronavirus.

Protection measures for persons who are in areas where COVID-19 is spreading or have visited these areas in the past 14 days

  • Follow the guidance outlined above.
  • Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from viruses, including Coronavirus.
  • If you develop fever, cough and breathing problems, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travellers. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.