On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General declared coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Wuhan, China. Due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 worldwide, the Covid-19 was declared as a global pandemic disease on 11th March 2020. Clinical manifestations of Covid-19 are fever, dry cough, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, and dyspnea. The COVID-19 virus is contagious as it’s transmitted through respiratory droplets transferred droplets, fomites, and close contact, with possible spread through the eyes, nose, and mouth. Covid-19 is contagious and is not an airborne disease (Nachega et al., 2020).
Rwanda registered the first case of COVID-19 on 14th March 2020 and as of 5th August 2020, Rwanda had registered 2,099 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 5 deaths. From January-July 2020 WHO published that more cases are found in people with the of range 24-64 years which is 64%, 0-4 years (1.2%), 5-15 years (2.5%),15-24 years (9.6%), 65-84 (19.4%), and above 85 years old is 3.4%. On 5th August 2020, Globally confirmed cases were 18,354, 342 cases, and 696 147 deaths which included 834,147 confirmed cases and 14,750 deaths from African countries, remember numbers keep on changing as time goes on (WHO, 2020a).
Symptoms of Covid19 usually begins in about 14 days after you come into contact with the virus, which are fever, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, dry cough, and other symptoms that may include sore throat, headache, chills, loss of smell, or taste, runny nose, diarrhea nausea, or vomiting. Covid19 is contagious and it affects different organs of the body such as the lungs, heart, and gastro intestines. Before 14 days’ an asymptomatic patient can spread covid19 that is why is better to quarantine yourself (WHO, 2020c).
Influenza viruses spread similarly as the coronavirus, so if you're ever unsure of what to do to protect yourself from getting, consider how you would act if you knew that everyone around you even your friend had the flu. With that, here are the best ways to protect yourself from the novel coronavirus; wash your hands frequently with soap for at least 40 seconds or sanitize, wear a face mask in public, maintain a social distance at least two meters, and avoid unnecessary travels (WHO, 2020b).
In a recent study by James et al, (2020), Currently, there are no specific therapeutic (healing) agents or vaccines for COVID-19 that are available. Several therapies, such as remdesivir and favipiravir, are under investigation, but the antiviral efficacy of these drugs are not yet known. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have a long-standing history in the prevention and treatment of malaria and it was also a trial in the treatment of COVID-19 though it was not 100% successful for that reason, they found out a different way of preventing the symptoms including; mechanical ventilation, antiviral therapies, and steroids.
Since Covid-19 is a contagious Disease the World health organization (WHO) proved that the proper use of a “Face mask” can prevent the spread though efficiency is achieved by the use of combined efforts such as proper hand hygiene and knowledge of appropriate mask use and disposal (WHO, 2020b).
These are procedures of using a “Face mask”;
- Clean your hands with alcohol-based sanitizer or soap and water for at least 40 seconds before touching the mask you are going to put on.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a face mask properly and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
- Avoid touching the face mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands properly with soap and water or with sanitizer.
- Replace the non-reusable or reusable mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use it before cleaning it if it is reusable.
- When you are removing the face mask hold from behind (do not touch the front of the face mask); discard immediately in a closed bin for non-reusable and clean hands with soap and water or sanitizer.
Protect yourself from acquiring Covid-19 by(WHO, 2020d);
- Clean your hands regularly.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 40 seconds, and dry them thoroughly.
- Use sanitizer if you don’t have immediate access to soap and water.
- Ensure a social distance of about 2 meters between persons.
Your safety is my safety, protect me while protecting yourself from this global pandemic, let us all work together to fight against this Pandemic, and not forget that exercising our body and take a balanced diet to help us boost our immunity.
James M, Sanders, P., Marguerite L, M., Tomasz Z, J., & James B, C. (2020). Pharmacologic Treatments for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) A Review. 323(18). https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.6019
Nachega, J., Seydi, M., & Zumla, A. (2020). The Late Arrival of Coronavirus Disease 2019 ( COVID-19 ) in Africa : Mitigating Pan-continental Spread. 2019(15), 875–878. https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa353
WHO. (2020a). Coronavirus disease ( COVID-19 ). (August).
WHO. (2020b). Personal Protective Equipment ( PPE ). 5–7.
WHO. (2020c). Preparedness Checklist for Long-Term Care Facilities.
WHO. (2020d). PROPER HAND WASHING TECHNICS. 20.
WHO. (2020e). Rational use of personal protective equipment for coronavirus disease ( COVID-19 ) and considerations during severe shortages. (April), 1–28.
Writer : IMANI Veciane from Group scolaire de gacuba II/A