Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a novel coronavirus, which means this virus has not been found before. However, we know that the virus transmits mainly via (a) direct contact with droplets from an infected person; and (b) indirect contact by touching contaminated surfaces where the virus can survive for a short time.
People living in the European Region should follow one main rule: protect yourself and others from getting sick by adhering to the guidance you receive from your public health authorities and WHO and stay healthy while travelling.
People should adopt simple steps of hand and respiratory hygiene that also help to avoid influenza and a broad range of illnesses. It is critical that people get their information from reliable sources to counter the many rumours that are influencing their ability to do the right thing.
- Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic
- The National Institute of Public Health (Czech Republic)
The National Institute of Public Health Infoline for anyone in need of advice on coronavirus is available daily at: +420 724 810 106 and +420 725 191 367.
- World Health Organization
Two things will surely not protect your health and they are stigma and discrimination of people based on their skin color, ethnicity or culture. It is important that we all realize this is the time for solidarity and cooperation, the time to work together to protect the health of everyone.
Tips for everybody
Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
- Why? If there is a virus on your hands, cleaning them with alcohol-based hand rub or with soap and water will kill it.
- What does ‘frequently’ mean? 10 important moments to clean your hands are:
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Before and after caring for someone sick.
- Before, during and after preparing food.
- Before eating food.
- Before and after treating a cut or wound.
- After using the toilet.
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet.
- After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste.
- After handling pet food or pet treats.
- After touching garbage.
- What is the best way to wash my hands? Washing your hands should take about as long as singing “Happy Birthday” two times.
When you cough or sneeze: cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or a tissue. Throw the tissue away into a closed bin and clean your hands as described above.
- Why? This will stop germs and viruses from spreading through the air and on surfaces. If you sneeze or cough into your hands, you may contaminate objects or people that you touch.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Why? If there is a virus on your hands, for example because you were close to a sick person, you can infect yourself when you touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
Keep social distance: maintain 1–2 metres distance between yourself and a sick person.
- Why? When someone sneezes or coughs, small droplets carrying the virus can project resulting in one becoming contaminated with the person’s secretions if a certain distance is not maintained.
How to handle a face mask
Tips for travellers
If travelling to affected countries
Stay aware of the latest information and take care of your health and follow all the above tips.
Avoid consumption of raw or undercooked animal products.
- Why? Cross-contamination with uncooked, contaminated foods can happen, so it is important to handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care, as per good food safety practices.
Avoid any contact with animals in markets.
- Why? An animal source is the most likely primary source of this outbreak, and people could become infected through contact with animals. Also avoid contact with potentially contaminated animal waste or fluids on the soil or structures of shops and market facilities.
Seek medical care early if you have fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, and share previous travel history with your health care provider.
- Why? Whenever you have fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, it is important to seek medical attention promptly as this may be due to COVID-19 or another serious condition. Call ahead if possible to allow health staff to take precautions and prepare for your arrival.
If returning from affected countries
Keep an eye on yourself for any symptoms of COVID-19. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty in breathing in the 14 days following your return, seek medical care early and share your recent travel history with the health care provider. The National Institute of Public Health Infoline for anyone in need of advice on coronavirus is available daily at: +420 724 810 106 and +420 725 191 367.
Why? Fever, cough and difficulty in breathing may be a sign of COVID-19. The National Institute of Public Health lets doctors and other health professionals give you the best care and latest advice.