Common Measures to Stop the Spread of Corona Virus
- Wash your hands (20 seconds) with soap and potable water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Use a hand sanitizer / hydro-alcoholic gel when you’re out
- Maintain social distance – at least 1.5 metres
- Don’t hug, kiss or shake hands when you meet
- Use a tissue or cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow when you cough
- Avoid using public transport and stand against overloading on common transport
- Stay at home! Avoid crowds & public places while the lockdown is in place.
- Only go out for grocery shopping, doctor visits and work. Exercise once a day on your own!
How to stop Corona Virus rumours and misinformation going viral
1. Don’t share rumours about the CoronaVirus
Buzzfeed List of Hoaxes Spreading about CoronaVirus
2. Check any information you receive with reliable sources
WHO World Health Organisation
CDC Centre for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
John Hopkins University CoronaVirus Map
Especially be aware of false cures, hoaxes and rumours shared on whatsapp or facebook groups
3. There is currently NO VACCINE
There is no MEDICATION that works. Malaria medication is NOT effective against COVID19
Avoid snake oils, aromatherapy and scams claiming to cure CoronaVirus: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/janelytvynenko/ftc-fda-scam-coronavirus-cures
Younger people in reasonably good health can also get ill from the virus
Being fit and in good health does not make you IMMUNE to COVID19
4. Don’t spread false cures or misinformation
Before sharing any CoronaVirus hoaxes, rumours or cures, take a moment to verify the information. Start by searching key words for alternative sources, look up the rumour on snopes or politifact,check how recently the account was created &refer to information from your local authorities.
Some examples of false cures:
Drinking hot tea (with or without honey) will NOT kill the virus in your throat
Drinking water every 15 minutes will NOT dilute the virus in your stomach
Does Drinking Water Prevent CoronaVirus? NO! Snopes Fact Check
Inaccurate messages about the new coronavirus are spreading and mutating online. One frequently copied and pasted bit of text that has gone viral on Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp purports to impart “serious excellent advice” from “Japanese doctors treating COVID-19 cases.”
That “advice” asserts regular sips of water can prevent the coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, from entering the respiratory system:
Water Will Not Prevent the Coronavirus from Entering Your Lungs
It is true that COVID-19 infects the respiratory system by directly entering the body through the mouth or nose. This fact is central to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations to wash hands frequently and avoid touching your face. The assertion in this viral “advice,” however, is that if the virus were already in your mouth, water would help wash it away. Though medical officials recommend drinking water during any infection, no evidence exists to support the notion that sipping water prevents a virus from infecting the respiratory system.
Drinking more water, while good for your overall health, will not keep anyone from catching the coronavirus, according to Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases expert at Vanderbilt University. Schaffner told The Associated Press, “We always caution anyone healthy and people who are sick to keep up fluid intake and keep mucus membranes moist.” He also said: “It makes you feel better; there is no clear indication that it directly protects you against complications.”
BuzzFeed News: Fake images purporting to be medical advice from UNICEF are circulating on social media and group chats. Exposure to the sun and not eating ice cream will not kill the virus.
“We continue to see erroneous online messages circulating in several languages around the world, purporting to be a UNICEF communication and indicating, among other things, that avoiding ice cream and other cold foods can help prevent the onset of the disease. This is, of course, wholly untrue,” the spokesperson, Joe English, said.
“To members of the public, we ask that you seek accurate information about how to keep yourself and your family safe from verified sources, such as UNICEF or WHO, government health officials, and trusted healthcare professionals; and that you refrain from sharing information from untrustworthy or unverified sources.”
Exerpts from BuzzFeed news: Misinformation, hoaxes, and snake oil cures have all been rampant online since the outbreak of the coronavirus. Author: Jane Lytvynenko, BuzzFeed News Reporter
5. What can I do to help on a personal level?
- Offer to help elderly or ill members of your community with grocery shopping & errands
- Stay out of the gym, public parks, church and away from crowds – self-isolation is key!
- Be aware of the current situation but don’t get drawn into constant 24 hour news updates.
- Take time to care for your mental and emotional health, talk to friends (video or voice calls)
- Stay in touch with people you care about and share what you’re going through.
6. Want to offer your skills and engage with community tech projects?
CoronaVirus Tech Handbook
The Coronavirus Tech Handbook is a crowdsourced library for technologists, civic organisations, public and private institutions, researchers, and specialists of all kinds working on responses to the pandemic. It is an evolving resource with thousands of expert contributors.
CoronaVirus Engagement Projects: Civic Tech & Data
How are people engaging the public and private sectors to help contribute to a collective response to the pandemic? How are people helping to contribute informal, mutual aid, to address common needs like social connection and remote work? A selection of civic tech solutions to the health crisis.
CoronaVirus Govtech Projects
Resources for governments to better engage the public, and vice versa. We will better understand our reliance on effective governance more than we have in recent years.
Coronavirus Data Projects: Open datasets, civic data, government data, data visualizations, and other key sources for coronavirus response work.
7. Ways to avoid misinformation during the CoronaVirus pandemic
Politifact Epidemic Misinformation Handbook
1. Learn the basics of the disease
What are the symptoms? How does it spread? What diseases is it similar to?
2. Ignore posts that say the disease is planned
In the early stages, it can be difficult to tell where an epidemic started, especially if it’s a new disease. That’s where conspiracy theories come in. Resist the urge to share these baseless claims.
3. Verify images and videos: Ongoing epidemics are ripe for out-of-context or misleading visuals. Be skeptical of images or videos that claim to show people affected by the disease or the government’s response to it. When in doubt, use tools like Google Reverse Image Search, RevEye and InVid to find the original context of images or videos you see on social media.
4. Double-check case numbers, death tolls and fatality rates: These are the numbers that officials use to measure the severity of epidemics – and they change day to day. For a verified count of those affected by the disease, look to WHO’s situation reports, JHU CoronaVirus Map or CDC reports.
5. Beware of attempts to downplay or inflate the threat of the disease: Epidemics often get politicized, and some people will use spin to deflect blame or create a scapegoat. Epidemics can have any number of causes, and assigning blame is never as simple as people want you to believe.
6. Don’t share prevention or treatment methods without consulting official sources
As an epidemic spreads around the world, so too do social media posts prescribing tactics for preventing and treating infection. Some hoaxes like drinking bleach to cure coronavirus may be dangerous, while others may be harmless, but the end result is the same: misinformation. Look for guidance from the CDC, WHO and local public health authorities.
7. Look for what’s still unknown: It’s an uncomfortable truth, but there is often a lot that scientists don’t know. Details like how the disease spreads, at what point it’s contagious and how deadly it is can take weeks or months to figure out. In the meantime, bad or made-up information proliferates online. To avoid it, stick to what’s known about the epidemic —and look for trustworthy sources that are upfront about what they don’t know as well.
Why Sub-Saharan Africa needs a unique response to COVID-19
WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
Neema Kaseje Founder, Surgical Systems Research Group, 30 Mar 2020
The African context is unique. There are population structure differences, high prevalence of endemic diseases and the double burden of disease, with health systems that are stretched thin with minimal critical care capacity. Because health systems in Africa are strained to begin with and have very limited capacity to absorb the pandemic, the overall strategic approach should focus on containment and aggressive preventive measures.
Early and aggressive physical distancing and frequent handwashing will prevail as the most effective and affordable interventions for the continent, with parallel testing, contact tracing, and isolation of cases. For aggressive preventive measures to work, we will need the full support of populations. Full support of populations can only be achieved with community engagement and strong health leadership.
Given the youth of the continent, youth leadership and engagement will be critical for prevention and containment activities in the COVID-19 response. At the health system level, operating rooms and teams could be reorganized and repurposed to build critical care capacity in district hospitals.
A robust COVID-19 response for the continent will need to take these factors into account and include community engagement, health leadership, and involvement of youth and religious leaders to drive containment.
Read the full article here:https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/why-sub-saharan-africa-needs-a-unique-response-to-covid-19/
CDC ADVICE: KNOW HOW CORONAVIRUS SPREADS!
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 1.5 metres).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. Especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick
- If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
- If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Post by Jodi Rose
Illustration by Felix Fokoua