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Coronavirus – Recommendations for your protection in Romania

The Romanian National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC) compiled a guide that provides the recommendations of all of the national authorities concerned by the prevention and limitation of the novel coronavirus.

General information:

As stated by the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause various illnesses, from a simple cold, to more severe illnesses, such as acute respiratory illnesses. The first case of human infection with the coronavirus (COVID-19) was registered in China, at the end of year 2019 and it is a new strain that has not been identified before in humans. The novel 2019 coronavirus is now called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – Coronavirus-2 (SARS-COV-2), and the illness associated to it is related to COVID -19.

Recommendations of the Ministry of Health:

  • Wash your hands several times;
  • Avoid any contact with humans suspected of acute respiratory infections;
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands;
  • Cover your mouth and nose if you sneeze or tough;
  • Do not take any antiviral medicine or antibiotics unless they are prescribed by your physician;
  • Clean all of the surfaces with chlorine or alcohol-based disinfectants;
  • Use a protective mask only in case you suspect that you are sick or if you provide assistance to sick humans;
  • Call 112 if have a fever, you cough or you are back from China or the quarantine zones from Europe for at least 14 days;
  • Pet animals do not pass on the coronavirus.

Recommendations of the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority:

  • Avoidance of contact with humans suffering from acute respiratory infections and preventing them from coming in direct or indirect contract with animals and products of animal origin;
  • Frequent hand-washing with water and soap or disinfectants, especially after the direct contact with sick humans or animals;
  • Avoidance of the unprotected contact with farm animals or wild animals;
  • All of the raw products of animal origin (meat, organs, milk, etc.) must be handled carefully, in order to avoid cross-contamination with food that does not require cooking, according to the good practices of food safety;
  • Thermal cooking of the meat, eggs, milk (products and by-products of animal origin);
  • Performance of commercial exchanges only with countries free from the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – Coronavirus-2 (SARS-COV-2).

Recommendations of the National Institute of Public Health from Romania:

For travelers:

  • Avoid any trip which is not essential!
  • If the trip is highly necessary, avoid contact with sick humans, especially with those showing respiratory symptoms and maintain your hands and food in good hygiene;
  • Travellers with acute respiratory symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath) who return from at least one of the affected zones, are advised to cover their nose and mouth with a protective mask, to call 112, to go to the closest infection disease section/ hospital and tell the infectious diseases physician about their travelling history.
  • It was noticed that this virus requires a close contact for interpersonal transmission, nevertheless it is not excluded the possibility to be passed on by contacting surfaces/ objects that have been contaminated with the respiratory secretions of an infected person. Still, given the reduced resistance of the coronaviruses in the environment, being fragile viruses, it is assumed that it is very unlikely for the virus to be transmitted by means of the international packages (by plane or ship), taking into account the long period of processing and transport.
  • Both the World Health Organization and the CDC from Atlanta do not recommend imposing additional measures for the acceptance of the packages from Chin or from other Asian countries.

The measures taken by the authorities for the Romanians coming from the zones affected by the coronavirus:

  • At the arrival on the Romanian territory, all of the asymptomatic travellers from the affected areas, respectively from Hubei (China), the 11 towns from Italy, but also the persons that are still on the cruise ship Diamond Princess shall go directly in quarantine, for a period of 14 days.
  • The other persons who arrive from the Lombardy and Veneto region shall undergo voluntary isolation at home for 14 days, at their arrival in Romania.

„All of the humans who are in quarantine shall receive informative materials providing a set of rules to be followed, as well as those who are isolated at home, who shall receive another set of rules. These materials shall be drawn up by the representatives of the Institute of Public Health and sent in a timely manner. Also, at the institute it will be available a toll-free number for those who wish to obtain additional measures on the novel coronavirus infection”, informed the minister for Health, Victor Costache.

Any Romanians who arrive in the country from the affected zones and fail to observe the measures of quarantine shall be subject to criminal sanctions.

The Minister for Health, Victor Costache, announced on Tuesday that the Romanians who arrive in the country from the affected zones and fail to observe the measures of quarantine shall be subject to criminal sanctions. The Minister has invoked article 352 from the Criminal Code providing inclusively the sanction with imprisonment for „foiling disease prevention”.

  • The failure to observe the measures of prevention of infectious and contagious diseases, spreading such disease, is sanctioned with 6 months to 2 years of imprisonment or a fine.
  • If the offence provided for by para. (1) is committed deliberately, it will be sanctioned with one to six months of imprisonment or a fine.

12 questions and answers on the coronavirus:

  1. What is the coronavirus?

The coronaviruses are part of a numerous family of viruses, found both in animals and humans. This virus infects the human causing various diseases, from the common cold to severe respiratory diseases, such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Description of the coronavirus

The „novel” coronavirus (CoV) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. This new type of coronavirus, called 2019-nCoV, has not been detected ever before the focal point was reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

  • Is the new type of virus identical with the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome?

No. 2019-nCoV comes from the same family of viruses as the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), but it is not same virus.

  • How dangerous is it?

Like other respiratory diseases, the infection with 2019-nCoV can cause mild symptoms, including nasal discharge, sore throat, cough and fever. It can be more severe in case of certain humans and it can lead to pneumonia or shortness of breath. Elderly humans with medical conditions (diabetes, heart conditions) are more vulnerable.

  • What is the difference between the diseases caused by the 2019-nCoV and a cold/ flu?

Humans infected with the 2019-nCoV or humans who have caught a cold or flu develop in general respiratory symptoms such as coughing, fever, nasal secretions. Even if many of the symptoms are similar, they are caused by different viruses. It is hard to identify the disease solely based on symptoms. Therefore, laboratory tests are necessary in order to confirm if one is infected with this new type of virus.

  • What is the incubation period of the virus?

The incubation period is the period between the moment of infection and the onset of the clinical symptoms of the disease. The current estimate of the incubation period varies between 1-12.5 days, with a median estimate of 5-6 days. This estimate shall be refined as more data will be available.

  • Can the 2019-nCoV be contracted from an infected human who does not show symptoms?

According to recent reports it is possible for infected humans to be infectious before showing significant symptoms. Based on the data available at the present time, humans who show symptoms spread the nCoV.

  • Who is prone to severe complications of the disease?

Even though it must be investigated more thoroughly the manner in which the 2019-nCoV affects humans, by now the elderly humans and those who suffer from pre-existing medical conditions (diabetes, heart diseases) appear to be more exposed to the risk of developing severe diseases.

  • How is the virus spread?

The novel Coronavirus is a respiratory virus which is spread firstly when in contact with an infected human, by inhaling particles transmitted through coughing, sneezing, drops of saliva, nasal secretions. It is important to practice a good respiratory hygiene. For instance, when you sneeze or cough, move your mouth towards the lower side of the elbow or use napkins and throw them to the bin immediately afterwards. Wash your hands as often as possible and use an alcohol-based antibacterial gel.

  • How long does the virus resist on outer surfaces?

It is not known precisely how long can the virus resist on outer surfaces, even though the preliminary information suggests that the 2019-nCoV can survive few hours or even more. Chlorine or alcohol-based disinfectants can kill the virus

  1. Can I catch the virus from my pet animal?

No. There are currently no proofs that the pet animals, such as cats, dogs, can pass on the virus to humans.

  1. Can it be passed on from human to human?

Yes. 2019-nCov causes respiratory diseases and it can be passed on from a human to another, usually after a close contact with an infected human.

  1. Who can contract this type of virus?

Humans who live or travel in a zone where the virus 2019-nCoV circulates may be prone to infection. Medical nurses who care for the sick are highly prone to the virus and they must protect themselves by observing the adequate procedures to prevent and control infections.

Up-to-date situation of the disease at global level – evolution in the past 24 hours:

Globally

At global level they have been registered 845 new cases, of which 64 deaths.

Mainland China

From the beginning of the epidemic to the present time they have been confirmed 78.064 cases, out of which 2.715 deaths. 83.5% of the confirmed cases and 96.3% of the total deaths have been registered in Hubei region. In the past 24 hours they have been reported only 4 confirmed cases in the rest of the provinces of Mainland China. The evolution in Mainland China is on a descending trend in the past weeks.

Increases in the number of the cases have been registered in South Korea, Italy, Iran, Bahrain and Japan. They have been registered the first cases confirmed in Austria, Croatia, Switzerland and Algeria.

Situation in Italy

In the past 24 hours they have been reported 94 confirmed cases, out of which 4 deaths. The focal point is located in northern Italy in the regions of Lombardy (240 cases), Veneto (43), Emila Romagna (26), Piemonte (3). They have also been registered cases in the provinces of Sicily (3), Tuscany (2), Liguria (1) and Trentino Alto Adige (1).

In order to control the extension of this focal point to other zones of Italy, public health authorities have taken measures to restrict the movement of humans in certain communes, as well as general measures to cancel any activities in the region (educational units, sport events, stores, bars, units of productions, etc.)

The 11 communes from the Lombardy and Veneto regions that are now in quarantine: Vo Euganeo, Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casarpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and Sân Fiorano. They are not imposed any restrictions for travelling to and from the rest of Italy.

This data is supplied by the National Centre for the Control and Prevention of Communicable Diseases, and here it can be seen the graphical evolution of the cases.

Medical translation made by Babylon Consult Romania.