What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
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.
WHO characterizes COVID-19 as a pandemic (a disease that spreads over a whole country or the whole world) on 11th March.
You can check WHO’s daily situation reports on the evolution of the outbreak.
Is there a cure for Covid-19?
While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials that include both western and traditional medicines.
How to protect yourself from Covid-19?
It is prudent for travellers who are sick to delay or avoid travel to affected areas, in particular for elderly travellers and people with chronic diseases or underlying health conditions.
General recommendations for personal hygiene, cough etiquette and keeping a distance of at least one metre from persons showing symptoms remain particularly important for all travellers. These include:
1. Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
2. Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
3. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
4. Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
Which countries have been affected by coronavirus?
There are now more than 124,000 cases in 119 countries, and 4,607 people have lost their lives. You can follow worldometer’s page of the coronavirus testing updates around the world. But more than half of those infected have recovered so far. More than 70% in China.
Is there any confirmed Covid-19 case in Turkey?
Yes, there has been confirmed cases reported in Covid-19 in Turkey. You can view the last updates on this map prepared by WHO.
All flights from Turkey to Italy, South Korea and China have been cancelled, as well as to Iraq and Iran where land crossings are also closed.
Turkey’s Ministry of Health has determined specific hospitals in each province for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of possible cases, completed the necessary infrastructure preparations and created case management algorithms according to current information.
Teams working on a 24/7 basis have been established in the Public Health Emergency Operation Center within the General Directorate of Public Health. In Turkey, necessary measures have been taken in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization. At the entrance points of Turkey such as airports and sea entry points, precautions have been taken for the identification of sick passengers who may come from risky areas and the actions to be taken in case of suspicion of illness have been determined. Direct flights with the PRC were stopped. The thermal camera scanning application, which was initially implemented for passengers from PRC, has been expanded to include other countries as of 05 February 2020.
What to do in an emergency?
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality started and continues its cleaning and hygiene activities with 100 staff in subways and 420 staff in public buses. Metro and metrobus stations are washed and cleaned more frequently. 65 hand-held disinfection units were installed at 44 metrobus stations and 2 at the Taksim-Tunel historical tram line. In 18 specially prepared vehicles, 36 disinfection personnel work on the field. Their teams carry out disinfection 24/7 in hundreds of locations in Istanbul, in a coordinated manner. You may still use a mask to prevent yourself and others from the possibility of infecting. Don’t forget to change your mask daily and try not to touch outside of your used mask.
And you can call the special coronavirus support line 184.
It’s important to know where your Consulate is located in the country that you’re visiting and make a note of the address, phone number and any other contact details. Here you can find the information about consulates in Istanbul.
Related post: When You Need the Consulate in Istanbul