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Coronavirus....Be Aware & Be Safe

Updated: Feb 27, 2020

In this Blog we try to enlist reliable information to help you stay aware about the numbers and ways to prevent getting infected & prevent the spread.

News about a deadly virus that appeared in Wuhan, China in December (now called COVID19, 2019 novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV) is everywhere lately. And as the number of cases rises, it’s understandable if you’re wondering how likely it is that you or a loved one will become ill. And quite likely, you’re also wondering how to prevent this.

So, where should you turn for the latest information on a rapidly changing situation? It’s hard to beat the convenience of the internet, and we know there’s a lot of useful and reliable information online. But there’s also a lot of misinformation. The trick is to figure out which is which.

What Are the Numbers

While we update this blog as on 27 February 2020 there have been 82,171 confirmed cases with 2,804 deaths & 33,129 cured.

50 countries are affected worldwide with China having maximum deaths. a

Total Confirmed Cases 82,171
Total Deaths 2,804
Total Cured 33,129

In response to this ongoing public health emergency, Johns Hopkins University developed an interactive web-based dashboard (static snapshot shown below). Click on the photo below to get the most up to date figures.

The virus is not restricted only to China and surrounding countries. Australia, Europe & Northern Americas have also reported cases with active infection.

In Europe - Germany, France & United Kingdom have reported many cases. The virus spread to Europe has been identified to be an individual enjoying ski at the winter resort in the French Alps. The carrier was infected while attending a conference in Singapore.

The World Health Organization (WHO) plays an essential role in the global governance of health and disease. WHO has come to play a vital role as an actor in the field of international public health and international public health policy of establishing, monitoring and enforcing international norms and standards. WHO concentrates on its role in controlling and ultimately eliminating infectious disease like COVID19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is the best source of reliable information.

How to Prevent

Follow below points diligently

Clean hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow
Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
Thoroughly cook meat and eggs
Avoid unprotected contact with live animals

Why Maintain social distancing ?

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.

When someone who is infected with a respiratory disease, like 2019-nCoV, coughs or sneezes they project small droplets containing the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the virus.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth....Why ?

Hands touch many surfaces which can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.

All you need to know about Mask

If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV 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.

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
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.

Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus?

No. Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus.

The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts.

Although these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health.

Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?

No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria.

The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be

used as a means of prevention or treatment.

However, if you are hospitalized for the 2019-nCoV, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.

There's No Specific Drug That Kills Coronavirus. But Doctors Have Ways To Treat It.

There aren't any drugs or vaccines approved specifically for the new virus. No antiviral treatment has proven effective against coronaviruses.

The main way of treating a viral infection is to find small molecules that prevent the virus from replicating inside our cells. Research has indicated that an anti viral drug "remdesivir" was able to inhibit the ability of the 2019-nCOV from infecting human cells in laboratory tests, but it has still to be approved by regulators for use against 2019-nCOV in patients. The same study also found that chloroquine, a medication used to prevent and treat malaria, was also effective against the virus. A clinical trial involving two drugs used for treating HIV is also underway at a hospital in Wuhan, China.

Meanwhile, there is also a race to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus. If a certain proportion of a community can be given immunity to a virus through a vaccine, its spread can be controlled.

But it is still an open question as to whether a treatment or a vaccine will be found within a matter of months or if it will take years.

Will my insurance cover expenses incurred for treatment of Covid-19?

Most of the insurance company have decided to cover any cost incurred by the insured for diagnosis, investigation & treatment for coronavirus. These expenses would be registered under out-patient or hospitalization benefits with expected prov. Diagnosis to be – pyrexia of unknown origin R50 / U07 or est. cases RA01.0

Based on the directive from Dubai Health Authority, Government of Dubai, UAE

"Any related claims or charges from the point of confirmed diagnosis required to be covered by the insurers and claimed by providers until further notice. Under no circumstances may a payer reject a case referencing point number 12 under Healthcare services outside the scope of health insurance (All healthcare services for internationally and/or locally recognized epidemics) as mentioned in the most current Essential Benefit Plan table of benefits. Any confirmed cases should have no co-payments collected from providers or billed to insurers."

Health insurance coverage is limited to the benefits & limits available under your medical policy. Please connect with your insurance provider for further information. Local government authorities issue regular updates on social media and it is always advised to trust a government media broadcasts.

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