Don’t panic, stay informed: COVID-19 still considered a controllable pandemic
CALGARY -- From fears of the spread of the virus to self-isolation preparation, there’s a lot of information circulating regarding COVID-19 but not all of it is helpful.
Experts continue to advise the public not to panic, and instead, seek factual information about the virus.
Earlier this week the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic. A decision Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says they didn’t take lightly.
Declaring a pandemic doesn’t grant the WHO additional powers, but it indicates the health authority no longer believes the disease is containable within a specific region or regions.
"We urge all countries to take a comprehensive approach tailored to their circumstances – with containment as the central pillar," said Ghebreyesus on Thursday.
However, the global health agency maintains the outbreak can be controlled.
The WHO lists 77 countries and territories with no reported cases and 55 with 10 cases or less. Even countries that do have cases, also have areas that are unaffected.
"You have an opportunity to keep it that way. Prepare your people and your health facilities,” said Ghebreyesus.
According to the latest data collected by Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 135,200 cases worldwide—about 81,000 of those are in China.
The data also lists 4,981 deaths, however, there’s been more than 69,600 recoveries.
There also seems to be a lot of questions about isolation.
For those who are already showing symptoms and are suspected of having COVID-19, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is directing them to isolate themselves at home and avoid contact with others.
For anyone who is not showing symptoms, but they have had a high risk of exposure to the virus, having been in close contact with someone who is ill for example, PHAC asks them to enter in to a voluntary home quarantine, also known as self-isolation.
While in self-isolation, people should:
- Avoid public transit or taxi services
- Don’t go to school, work or public spaces
- Avoid people with compromised immune system
- Cancel all non-essential visits to your residence
Two weeks in isolation is the recommended period for COVID-19 cases and there are a number of considerations to keep in mind including hygiene, separation and pets, in order to successfully limit the spread of the disease.