COVID-19 protection measures
The SARS-CoV-2 virus was first detected in December 2019 in the Yuhan region of China and led to the current COVID-19 pandemic called the respiratory infection caused by this new coronavirus strain.
What is the mode of transmission?
The virus is transmitted from person to person mainly through the respiratory tract with droplets from sneezing, coughing, or talking. It can also be transmitted through contact with surfaces that have been recently contaminated with droplets if hand hygiene measures are not followed.
When is a case of the disease considered more contagious?
An incident is considered more contagious when it shows symptoms, but it could potentially transmit the infection 1-4 days before the onset of symptoms. The main transmission occurs during the symptomatic phase. The incident is considered to be no longer contagious 24 hours after the onset of symptoms.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19 infection?
The main symptoms of the disease include the following: Fever, dry cough and discharge. Some have sore throats, arthralgias / myalgias and nasal congestion. The symptoms are usually mild and about 80% of patients recover without the need for special treatment.
Which patients are most at risk for developing a serious illness?
Some patients experience shortness of breath (difficulty breathing) and possibly pneumonia, which requires hospitalization. People who belong to a high-risk group (eg, the elderly, heart patients, people with diabetes, liver disease or lung disease) are more likely to develop a serious illness.
According to the WHO, there are currently no restrictions on trips or recommendations for checking in at the gates.
How is close contact (high risk of exposure) with a COVID-19 case on board defined?
- Contact with the case at a distance of less than 1.5 meters or for more than 15 minutes
- Contact with a person in the same cabin as the suspected case
- Cleaning staff
- People with "face to face" contact or in the immediate vicinity with a symptomatic person (participation in the same activities, at meals at the same table)
- Person in the same group of travelers
- A health professional or other person providing care for a suspected case
General measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19
The first line of defense against infection is careful hand hygiene. Frequent hand washing with soap and water is recommended for at least 20 seconds. If the hands are not visibly soiled, an alcoholic solution (at least 60% ethyl alcohol or 70% isopropyl alcohol) may be used as an alternative. The use of gloves is not a substitute for hand washing.
Hands should be washed:
- After any direct contact with a patient or patient's body fluids (eg shawls)
- After contact with objects that have come into contact with respiratory or patient secretions
Meticulous observance of hygiene measures such as:
- Cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with the inside of the elbow or with a tissue which we throw in the trash
- Avoid contact of hands with mouth, nose or eyes to prevent the spread of germs
- Avoid contact with patients who have respiratory symptoms
- We keep safe distances from those around us (> 1.5 meter)
- We avoid painting areas
If we experience symptoms during the trip, we immediately inform the crew and seek medical help
The use of a mask retains the droplets and can reduce the spread of infection in the community. The main purpose of using the mask is to protect the people around you if you are infected.
Suspicious case management by COVID-19
-Recording the suspected case and submitting it to the health authorities
-Giving a mask to the patient to avoid further dispersion of droplets. In any case, the patient should cover his cough (eg with a tissue)
-Isolation of the patient in a cabin or other special area with a private toilet and feeding in the cabin. The cab door must be closed
-It is recommended to avoid visiting the cabin. The entry of other people is avoided, if there is no serious reason, e.g. care, cabin cleanliness.
People who come into contact with the patient (will enter his cabin) must wear PPE (Personal Protection Measures) gloves, a simple surgical mask and a waterproof robe. Healthcare professionals, caregivers, and cleaning staff are advised to use high-protection masks (FFP2 or FFP3), goggles or face mask, waterproof long-sleeved robe, gloves, and wellies. In addition, care must be taken to maintain a distance of at least 1.5 meters between suspected cases, which are co-examined with other patients. Used protective equipment (simple surgical mask, gloves, waterproof disposable robe) should be disposed of in a bin outside the cab door and in any case not reused.
Hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and water after disposing of protective equipment. It is emphasized that the use of gloves does not replace hand washing, which is a very important means of prevention.
The health professional must recommend the general observance of the basic rules of hygiene. It is especially important to wash your hands with soap and water at regular intervals and definitely, before contact with the mouth, nose or eyes, as well as before eating and drinking or smoking.
Cleaning and disinfection of patient cabin
Daily cleaning and disinfection of surfaces that the patient often touches is required, such as bedside tables, knobs, toilet surfaces, etc., as well as emergency cleaning when surfaces are soiled with biological fluids.
Cleaning staff must enter the cabin with personal protective equipment (see above). For as long as working in the cabin, cleaning staff must not touch their mouth, nose or eyes with their hands, smoke or eat.
The surfaces must be cleaned twice (double pass) with disinfectant with antiviral action. Effective disinfectants are sodium hypochlorite solution in 1:10 solution or antiseptic alcohol over 70%, or quaternary ammonium salts. The above formulations presuppose the existence of a coronation control certificate.
It is emphasized that the instructions may be amended depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic as well as in accordance with Ministerial Decisions / Circulars of the competent Ministries.