At the wake of the situation when coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic and the virus has now spread to many countries and territories, we extend our concerns to all the Kathmandu University members (faculties, staffs, students, stakeholders) and their families.
To address major concerns about COVID 19, Kathmandu University would urge everyone to follow these guidelines.
Facts about COVID 19
1. What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’ or ‘2019-nCoV.’ The COVID-19 virus is a new virus linked to the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and some types of common cold.
2. What is the current situation of COVID 19?
The coronavirus COVID-19 has affected 176 countries and territories around the world and 1 international conveyance (the Diamond Princess cruise ship harbored in Yokohama, Japan).
There are 277,055 active cases, with 91,9186 recovered and 11,423 deaths till 20 March 2020. Nepal had first detected case in January 2020, which was treated and discharged after full recovery. There are no detected cases in 545 tested suspected cases in Nepal.
3. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. These symptoms are similar to the flu (influenza) or the common cold, which are a lot more common than COVID-19. This is why testing is required to confirm if someone has COVID-19.
4. How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (generated through coughing and sneezing). Individuals can also be infected from and touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and touching their face (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth). The COVID-19 virus may survive on surfaces for several hours, but simple disinfectants can kill it.
5. Who is most at risk?
We are learning more about how COVID-19 affects people every day. Older people, and people with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, appear to be more at risk of developing severe symptoms. As this is a new virus, we are still learning about how it affects children. We know it is possible for people of any age to be infected with the virus, but so far there are relatively few cases of COVID-19 reported among children. The virus can be fatal in rare cases, so far mainly among older people with pre-existing medical conditions.
6. What is the treatment for COVID-19?
There is no currently available vaccine for COVID-19. However, many of the symptoms can be treated and getting early care from a healthcare provider can make the disease less dangerous. There are several clinical trials being conducted to evaluate potential therapeutics for COVID-19.
COVID-19 is affecting the population worldwide. The goal for all of us is to protect those who are the most vulnerable from exposure to carriers of COVID-19. It is the responsibility of every individual and employees to understand the gravity of the situation and act responsibly.
In summary,the following are the public health guidelines that can be implemented to the best of the abilities by the public:
- Those aged 60 and older and/or those with chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, heart disease, or lung diseases such as COPD, as well as those with severely weakened immune systems are at highest risk of complications
- People at higher risk should stay home and away from non essential social gatherings
Less Vulnerable Populations:
- All those at lower risk but are sick should stay home to the maximum extent possible except when going to essential sites (hospitals, pharmacies, groceries, work)
- Consider whether a face-to-face meeting or event is needed. If possible, replace it by a teleconference or online event. Scale down so that fewer people attend
- If they develop even a mild cough or low-grade fever (i.e. a temperature of 37.3 C or more) they are encouraged to stay at home and self-isolate. This means avoiding close contact (1 meter or nearer) with other people, including family member
- All the academic institution remains closed for the period as directed by the Government of Nepal
- Avoid all non-essential travels
- Avoid visits to all non-essential sites but not limited to the one permitted by the Government of Nepal
- Follow the travel directives set by the Government of Nepal:
- Do not gather in number more than 25 in any formal or informal settings
- Avoid going to places where there might be crowd like cinema halls, markets, supermarkets, parks, gym etc
- Follow the directives set forth by the Government of Nepal
Practice effective hand hygiene to prevent yourself from transmission. Wash your hand with soap water for at least 20 seconds following these seven steps of hand-washing:
- Step 1: Wet Hands . Wet your hands and apply enough liquid soap to create a good lather
- Step 2: Rub Palms Together
- Step 3: Rub the Back of Hands
- Step 4: Interlink Your Fingers
- Step 5: Cup Your Fingers
- Step 6: Clean the Thumbs
- Step 7: Rub Palms with Your Fingers
If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:
- Maintain social distancing, self-quarantine, and self-isolation
- Stay at home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surface
- If the symptoms worsen, visit the nearest hospital for further management and care
Wish you good health and peace of mind !