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// Information for Refugees

Frequently Asked Question on COVID-19

by Suaka Indonesia on 30/03/2020

This Frequently Asked Question compiled from various sources, mainly WHO, CDC, Ministries of Health from Australia, United Kingdom, also reliable and verified news sources. This post will be edited and updated, as soon as there is new information.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

How does COVID-19 spread?

WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales.

These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets.

This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).

Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

What is a Silent Spreader?

The virus can take up to two weeks to become symptomatic. This means there are people walking around who are not yet experiencing symptoms but are still infecting others. These are the silent spreaders.

Because the virus can be transmitted before someone shows symptoms, simply avoiding people who look sick isn’t going to help much. To slow the rate of infection, it’s imperative that we follow public health strategies – like social distancing – to reduce contact between healthy people and silent spreaders.

Should I worry about COVID-19?

Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness: about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care. It is therefore quite normal for people to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect them and their loved ones.

Can the virus be transmitted through air?

COVID-19 is NOT airborne.

The coronavirus is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.

To protect yourself:
• Keep 1m distance from others
• Disinfect surfaces frequently
• Wash/rub your hands
• Avoid touching your face (ear, mouth, nose, eyes)

Is it safe to receive a package from any area where COVID-19 has been reported?

Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is also low.

Can I catch the coronavirus by eating food handled or prepared by others?

We are still learning about the transmission of the new coronavirus. It’s not clear if it can be spread by an infected person through food they have handled or prepared, but if so it would more likely be the exception than the rule.

So, we currently cannot rule out the possibility of the infection being transmitted through food by an infected person who has not thoroughly washed their hands. In the case of hot food, the virus would likely be killed by cooking. This may not be the case with uncooked foods like salads or sandwiches.

That said, the new coronavirus is a respiratory virus known to spread by upper respiratory secretions, including airborne droplets after coughing or sneezing. The virus that causes COVID-19 has also been detected in the stool of certain people.

Experts had some basic tips for people to follow.

  • Avoid uncooked and open-air meals, like from a food truck or buffet.
  • Don’t use unfamiliar utensils.
  • Wash fruit and vegetables.
  • Cook food at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which neutralizes the virus.
  • Buy packaged foods when possible
Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating COVID-19?

No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.

Is there a vaccine, drug, or treatment for COVID-19?

Not yet. To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illnesses should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.

Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19.

When to use a mask?
  • If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected COVID-19 infection.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
How to put on, use, take off and dispose of a mask?
  • Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
  • To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

Be very careful if you buy any type of mask, in-store or online, as there are cases where the mask being sold in the market was sold and made illegally. The masks were not produced according to Indonesian health standards, adding that they do not provide any protection against viruses.

Buy masks in well-known stores, such as Kimia Farma, Guardian, Century, or trustable local pharmacies and hospitals.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing means we reduce the number of close physical and social contacts we have with one another.

since WHO on the 20th of March, used a stronger phrase, Physical distancing.

What is physical distancing?

Physical distancing is also essential in reducing the risk of infection. It means keeping a physical distance from people so that we can prevent the virus from transferring to one another. But it doesn’t mean that socially we have to disconnect from our loved ones, from our family.

When Physical distancing actions are combined with good personal hygiene measures the spread of a pandemic through the community can be slowed. This helps protect the most vulnerable members of the community and reduces the impact of the pandemic on essential, life-saving health services.

While practicing physical distancing, people can travel to work (including public transport). For non-essential activities outside the workplace or attendance at schools, universities, and childcare – social distancing includes:

  • avoiding crowds and mass gatherings where it is difficult to keep the appropriate distance away from others
  • avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for example, family celebrations
  • attempting to keep a distance of 0.5-2 meters between themselves and other people where possible, for example when they are out and about in public place.
  • avoiding shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people.
  • avoiding visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, infants, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment.
Who should practice physical distancing?

Everyone should practice social distancing, as it reduces the potential for transmission.

Is it safe for me to go to the gym?

Please do a home work-out during this time until further notice from the government.