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Coronavirus (COVID 19) Questions and Answers

How safe is it to travel while Coronavirus is spreading?
It is worth remembering this is almost exclusively an outbreak in China. At the moment, more than 99% of cases are in China and the majority of those are in just one province (Hubei). The Government advises against all travel to Hubei and against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China. But no travel restrictions are currently advised for other countries.
Is a face mask useful against the Coronavirus? and how often does it have to be replaced?
There is very little evidence that wearing face masks make a difference. Experts say good hygiene - such as regularly washing your hands and certainly before putting them near your mouth - is vastly more effective.
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 Coronavirus (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.
Can gargling mouthwash protect you from infection with the new coronavirus?
No. There is no evidence that using mouthwash will protect you from infection with the new coronavirus.
Some brands or mouthwash can eliminate certain microbes for a few minutes in the saliva in your mouth. However, this does not mean they protect you from Coronavirus (COVID 19) infection.
Do people who have contracted Coronavirus can recover?
Yes. Many of those who contract coronavirus will experience only mild symptoms. These include fever, coughing and respiratory problems. Most people are expected to make a full recovery.
But it can pose a particular risk for elderly people and those with pre-existing problems like diabetes or cancer, or weak immune systems.
As of 8 February, Chinese health authorities said that 724 people had died from the virus and recovered cases are 2,085. The number of confirmed cases stands at 34,878.
An expert at China's National Health Commission has said that it can take a week to recovery from mild coronavirus symptoms.
Can the coronavirus be transferred through items bought from Wuhan?
There is no evidence this is a risk. Some diseases - including the coronavirus that causes Sars - can spread through surfaces contaminated by people coughing or sneezing on them.

Cold viruses tend to survive less than 24 hours outside the human body although norovirus (a severe stomach bug) can last months outside the body.
Can you test for Coronavirus (COVID 19)?
Yes. many laboratories are now able to test for the novel coronavirus.
Is there any reason such viruses are emerging more from China?
Yes - large populations of people living in close proximity to animals.
This coronavirus almost certainly came from an animal source, with one suggestion being snakes. Sars, another coronavirus that originated in China, came from bats and the civet cat.
Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
There is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.
Should I go to public event?
At this stage the Ministry does not propose altering arrangements for public events.
If you are an organiser of events you should focus on reminding the public not to attend if they are feeling unwell and ensure your emergency management plan is up-to-date.
We also recommend reminding event organisers and workers to practice good hygiene and are supplying a PDF which can be printed and prominently displayed near toilets and food preparation areas.
Anyone scheduled to work at or attend a public event should stay home if they feel unwell. This is our standard health advice.
Even if people feel well, they should always practice good hygiene by:
+ cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing
+ wash hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and dry thoroughly:
- before eating or handling food
- after using the toilet
- after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses
- after caring for sick people
Where can I get further information about Coronavirus (COVID 19)?
Up-to-date information is available on:

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