COVID-19 (also called SARS-CoV-2) is the viral disease that is currently causing concern worldwide. COVID-19 began as an outbreak in Wuhan, China. It has a very negative impact on world trade and the global economy, restricting worldwide travel and tourism, causing restaurants and hotels to close, forcing entire countries to shut down, and is now the most recent pandemic following the H1N1 pandemic (influenza pandemic) of 2009/2010.
This article contains:
1. What is the origin of COVID-19?
2. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
3. Who needs to quarantine?
4. How to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
5. How can companies protect their employees from COVID-19?
6. Tool for preparation for COVID-19
What is the origin of COVID-19?
The SARS-CoV-2 virus causes respiratory disease. SARS-CoV-2 has been officially designated as COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO) since February 11, 2020, and was first discovered on December 8, 2019, in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. COVID-19 has now spread to more than 145 countries with over 160,000 confirmed cases. The global mortality rate of COVID-19 at the time of writing this report is 3.5%, in Germany it is 0.2%, in Italy it is currently 6.2%.
What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO, 2020), the symptoms of COVID-19 are:
There are also secondary symptoms that some patients have:
- Loss of taste or smell,
- Nasal congestion,
- Sore throat,
- Muscle pain,
- Different types of skin rash,
- Nausea or vomiting,
- Chills or dizziness.
In case of a severe COVID‐19 disease one will feel:
- Shortness of breath,
- Loss of appetite,
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest,
- High temperature (above 38 °C).
80% of the infected recover from the disease without needing hospital treatment. About 15% become seriously ill and require oxygen and 5% become critically ill and need intensive care.
Who Needs to Quarantine?
You have to undertake self-quarantine if you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
What is close contact in this case?
- You were within 1 meter of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
- You provided medical care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
- You had direct physical contact with the person
- You shared eating or drinking utensils
- They sneezed or coughed on you
How to monitor your health?
- Stay home for 2 weeks after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
- Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms.
- Stay away from other people especially from the elderly and individuals with the weak immune system.
How to Avoid Spreading the Infection?
You may transmit the virus even without realizing it. Therefore, it is vital to do everything you can to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.
It is important to:
- try to stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from the people that don’t belong to your household
- wash your hands with soap and water regularly at least for 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
How Can Companies Protect Their Employees From COVID-19?
The spread of COVID-19 has had a sometimes terrible impact on companies and industries worldwide. It is best if employers find ways to prevent COVID-19 from becoming an occupational risk! Companies can take the following measures to reduce risks in the workplace:
- Ensure proper dissemination of information in the workplace - and establish policies that employees can follow strictly.
- Implement a task force - We recommend that employers designate specific personnel responsible for handling the health and safety measures to be implemented in the company.
- Arrange trainings - Arrange specialised training for employees to inform them about precautions (e.g. frequent hand washing, use of disinfectants, avoidance of mass accumulation) and to raise employee awareness of safety issues.
- Ensure regular cleaning and disinfection should always - Employers should provide for regular cleaning and disinfection of the workplace, in particular of common areas, and keep records thereof.
- Every employer should provide the necessary equipment - such as protective equipment. Where appropriate, equip work units with masks, thermometers, disinfectants and other essential protective gear.
- Establish special measures for company canteens - Wenn möglich, wird empfohlen, dass Mitarbeiter nicht alle gleichzeitig in die Betriebskantine gehen, um Massenansammlungen zu vermeiden.
Also, read and understand the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention general recommendation for employers:
- Workers should be informed and encouraged to stay at home if they do not feel well.
- Employees who are ill or become ill at work should be separated from other employees and sent home.
- Educate employees about proper hand hygiene and breathing protection etiquette.
- Cleaning the environment should be part of the routine. Frequently touched surfaces should always be cleaned.
- Employees who travel should review the travel advice on the CDC website and follow the recommendations for each country.
- Employers should have a risk assessment carried out in the workplace to determine the level of risk of infection and take appropriate risk reduction measures.
COVID-19 is haunting the world with an exponential increase in confirmed cases. Since there is no vaccine yet, the best defence against COVID-19 is to ensure that the recommended guidelines in place and everyone is following to prevent infection and contain its spread. Lumiform is a powerful solution that can help you take regular steps to decrease the risks of COVID-19. Lumiform enables you to do this:
- Follow the recommended guidelines and steps throughout your organization to prevent further proliferation of COVID-19. Proactively identify problem areas to fix vulnerabilities and take immediate action quickly.
- To transmit reports and documentation immediately to keep the intended recipients informed in real-time. This makes quality and safety measurable and allows you to continuously optimize processes based on data.
- Increase the efficiency of your internal processes: Through more efficient communication within the team, as well as faster reporting of incidents, you solve conflicts up to 4 times faster than before.
- Save time by analyzing all data more efficiently and identifying areas that need your attention more quickly.
- The very simple operation offers no room for error on site. The app offers less complexity in documenting or filling out checklists than complicated paper or Excel lists.
We have prepared free checklists for COVID-19, which you can use to prepare yourself, your company and your environment for COVID-19 and protect yourself from it.