Turkish Ministry of Health announcement on Coronavirus in Turkey
The deadly Coronavirus occupied the world and the media, spreading terror across the world, it started its horrific journey from China to several countries around the world, causing so far the death of nearly 1775 people around the world. This terrible phenomenon has raised many questions and was accompanied by many facts alongside myths and hearsay.
Due to the importance of the issue and the consequent measures to prevent infection with the Coronavirus, the Turkish Ministry of Health has initiated a warning publication, in which it has answered 25 questions that summarize most of the questions on this dangerous virus.
The Ministry of Health answers the most common questions about the new Coronavirus
1- What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a group of viruses that cause flu, usually seen every year during the seasonal flu period. The coronavirus subtypes that circulate in humans and cause most cases of flu are HCoV-229E, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-NL63 and HKU1-CoV. Also, coronaviruses have caused severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
2- Are SARS and MERS-CoV still present in Turkey?
Because of the measures taken against SARS, it is no longer present.
Where there was only one MERS-CoV case in Turkey in 2014, and because of the measures were taken against it no other cases were reported.
3- What is the source of coronaviruses and how are they transmitted?
The source of coronaviruses are animals (zoonotic), however, it can be transmitted to humans under certain conditions, then it can be transmitted from person to person. As a result of detailed research, it has been revealed by accurate results of researches that SARS-CoV was transmitted to humans from musk cats, and MERS-CoV is transmitted from single-humped camels. Many coronaviruses have not yet been transmitted to humans but are detected in animals.
4- What is the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?
New coronavirus (2019-nCoV); It is a new coronavirus subtype not previously detected in humans and was identified on January 7, 2020
5- When was the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) disease first reported?
The first reports of the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) disease were made by WHO on December 31, 2019, as cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology in Wuhan, Hubei province, China.
6- What is the source of the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?
The exact source of the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is unknown. The early reported cases were reported in the Wuhan South China Seafood City Market (a domestic and wild fish market for domestic and wild animal species) employees in the south of Wuhan, China, suggesting that the virus probably originated from an animal source.
7- How is the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) transmitted?
The way of transmission is not fully known. It is transmitted from animal to human, and from human to another.
It is assumed that it is transmitted via indirect contact by droplets.
8- How long is the incubation period of the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?
The incubation period of the virus is not known. It is thought to be between 2-14 days.
9- What are the signs & symptoms of the new coronavirus?
Although it is reported that there may be asymptomatic (no findings) cases, their ratio is unknown. The most common symptoms are fever, cough, and respiratory distress. However, in severe cases, pneumonia, severe acute respiratory failure, kidney failure, and death may develop.
10- Who is more susceptible to the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) disease?
The available data show that the elderly and those with concomitant disease are more susceptible.
11- Is there a case of the new coronaviruses (2019-nCoV) reported in Turkey?
People who come to Turkey from the regions where the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection is seen intensely and who show any respiratory symptoms are evaluated under the appropriate conditions and evaluated for the possibility of disease and a respiratory sample is taken. New coronavirus (2019-nCoV) disease has not been detected in the cases evaluated within this scope so far.
12- What are the preventive measures carried out by the Ministry of Health on this issue?
The progress in the world and the international spread of the disease are closely monitored by our Ministry. After receiving the first news about the spread of the disease, the disease started to be followed closely. Risk Assessment and Science Board meetings were held for the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) disease. all sides of the issue are to be followed with concerns like (Turkish airlines, Turkey General Directorate of Border and Coastal Health, General Directorate of Turkish Public Hospitals, etc ) by meetings and events to be involved in the process. A team was formed on a 24/7 basis, In Turkey necessary measures have been taken under the recommendations of the World Health Organization. At the entrance points of Turkey, such as airports and sea entry points, measures have been taken to identify sick passengers who may come from risky areas, and the actions to be taken in case of suspicion of illness have been determined. A guideline on diagnosis, disease-related procedures, prevention, and control measures has been prepared. Management algorithms for identified cases have been created and the duties and responsibilities of the related parties have been defined. The guide also includes things to do for people going to or coming from countries with cases. This guide, which is constantly updated, is available on the official website of the General Directorate of Public Health. Also, respiratory tract samples are taken from people who follow the definition of possible cases and are isolated in health facility conditions until the sample result is obtained.
13- Is there a vaccine for the new coronavirus?
No, there is no vaccine developed yet.
14- What precautions should be taken to avoid new Coronavirus?
The basic principles proposed to reduce the overall risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections also apply to the new coronavirus. These are;
- Attention should be paid to hand hygiene. Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and alcohol-based hand disinfectants should be used in the absence of soap and water. It is not necessary to use soap with antiseptic, normal soap is enough.
- The mouth, nose, and eyes should not be touched without washing hands.
- Avoid contacting sick people (if possible, be at least 1 m away).
- Hands should be washed frequently, especially after direct contact with sick people or their environment.
- It is recommended to cover the nose and mouth with a disposable tissue paper during coughing or sneezing or use the elbow in cases where there is no tissue paper.
- Pay attention to respiratory hygiene recommendations, avoid crowded places, close the mouth and face when possible, and use a medical mask.
- What precautions should be taken for those who are traveling to Coronavirus-infected countries, like China?
The basic principles proposed to reduce the overall risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections also apply to the new coronavirus.
- Eating raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Well-cooked foods should be preferred.
- High-risk areas such as farms, livestock markets, and areas where animals can be slaughtered should be avoided.
- If you have any respiratory symptoms after travel, tell your doctor about your travel history.
16- What measures should people take when traveling to countries with few infections?
The basic principles proposed to reduce the overall risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections apply. Also, cooked foods should be preferred over raw foods.
17- What is done for the disease diagnosis in Turkey?
Following the updated case definitions, samples are taken from people who are likely to have 2019-nCoV disease and necessary examinations are made to confirm the diagnosis. Respiratory tract samples are taken from the people whose disease probability is considered and evaluated in the laboratories of the Ministry of Health. In laboratories, pancoronavirus test is performed first in respiratory tract samples, and a positive diagnosis can be made by performing sequence analysis in positive samples.
18- Can packages or products from China transmit coronavirus?
Generally, these viruses are unlikely to be transmitted by package or cargo, since their chances of surviving on surfaces are very low.
19- Is there a risk of the new coronavirus disease in Turkey?
Considering the increase in commercial and cultural relations and transportation between the countries in the current century, there is a possibility that such cases occur in Turkey, like many countries in the world.
20- Are there any travel restrictions to China?
Currently, there is no travel restriction to China by the World Health Organization (WHO), but there are recommendations to avoid risky areas unless necessary. On the other hand, the Chinese administration stopped entry and exit at the Wuhan region, where the cases were intense to prevent the spread of the infection. For this reason, it is recommended to make a travel plan considering the restrictions made by the Chinese government.
Also, the official announcement of the "Travel Alert for China" dated 27 January 2020 is available on the official website of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
21- How should tour vehicles be cleaned?
Good ventilation of the vehicles and standard general cleaning is recommended.
- Vehicles should be ventilated frequently with fresh air during use. Where the air conditioning inside the vehicle is preferred to work with the air taken from outside not vise-versa.
- It is recommended that the vehicles should be cleaned after each use, if possible.
- Its recommended to wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer with a hand antiseptic.
- If guests are coming from regions where the disease is intense, and there are signs and symptoms of the disease like fever, sneezing, cough among the guests, it is preferable to wear a mask. And ensure calling 112, give them all the information and the referred healthcare center is already informed.
22- What are the precautions for hotels?
Standard cleaning measures are suitable for accommodation facilities since the virus cannot survive on inanimate surfaces for a long time.
- Attention should be paid to hand hygiene. Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and alcohol-based hand disinfectants should be used if soap and water are not available. It is not necessary to use soap with antiseptic, normal soap is enough.
- It is recommended to cover the nose and mouth with a disposable tissue paper during coughing or sneezing or use the elbow in cases there is no tissue paper, pay attention to respiratory hygiene recommendations, avoid crowded places if possible, cover the mouth and face using a medical mask.
- Since the virus cannot survive on inanimate surfaces for a long time, no transmission is expected to people carrying the patient's suitcases.
- It is recommended to put alcohol hand antiseptic at accessible places.
23- What precautions should the airport employees take?
General infection protection measures mentioned above should be taken.
24- What precautions should employees of restaurants and shops take where tourists come?
General infection protection measures should be taken.
25- Is there any risk for people using the same hotel or restaurant with tourists?
General infection protection measures should be taken. Besides, Strict steps are taken if a case is found and will be planned by healthcare professionals.
Medical tourism in Turkey: the third in the world
Precision medicine in Turkey and other initiatives aimed to reduce the costs of health care services for visitors from abroad, including the government's announcement of raising the value-added tax for non-residents who receive medical treatments in institutions approved by the Ministry of Health, and the growing interest of the Turkish government in medical tourism all this made Turkey the third destination globally in this field, as it attracted a quarter of a million visitors for the medical tourism in the year 2019.
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