With the rapid spread of coronavirus across the globe, it is time to think about when you should put yourself under home-quarantine and the things you should or should not do during this time.
Please note that Bangladesh, by far, is on the safe side regarding the spread of coronavirus with only three confirmed cases – of which two patients have already recovered. This article is not intended to worry you in any way.
Bangladesh's Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), as well as other health organisations across the globe, have provided specific instructions regarding entering home quarantine if one suspects one has the coronavirus.
People coming from countries that saw a mass outbreak of the virus need to self-quarantine for 14 days, according to the IEDCR.
The people going into self-quarantine are requested to follow the following instructions by health organisations:
Things you can do during the quarantine
- You can spend the time in quarantine learning more about the virus itself. The website of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and IEDCR contain lots of useful information regarding the virus.
- Watch a movie, listen to music or read books. However, do not share the book you read while in quarantine with others. PDFs may come in handy during this time.
- Stay in touch with your friends and family with the help of the Internet.
- Maybe do a little exercise when you feel like doing it. Take a short walk inside your room.
- Try to stay as relaxed as possible. Do not panic.
Call these hotlines if you fear someone is affected
The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) has opened four hotline numbers, asking the people to contact them if they develop symptoms similar to those of the coronavirus infection.
The numbers are as follows:
Stay away from other family members
The person under home quarantine should:
- Stay in a well-ventilated single-room, preferably one with an attached or separate toilet. If another family member needs to stay in the same room, one metre of distance must be maintained between them and they should use a separate bed to sleep.
- Stay away from other family members – especially from elderly people, pregnant women, children and persons with co-morbidities within the household.
- Restrict their movement within the house.
- Not attend social or religious gatherings under any circumstances.
- Not keep a pet nearby.
When to use a mask
The person under home quarantine should wear a mask when:
- They stay with others in the same room without one metre of separation.
- They need to go out of the home in case of an emergency.
While using a mask
- Do not touch it or your face with your bare hand.
- Throw the mask in a covered bin.
If your mask comes in contact with your own cough, spit or vomit, immediately throw it in the bin and use another one.
Rules for hand washing (when and how)
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Wash your hands whenever they seem dirty. Use hand sanitiser if you cannot wash your hands.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth without first washing your hands.
- Use a tissue paper to clean excess water after washing your hands. Use a designated towel for that if you do not have any tissue paper. Do not use that towel for any other purpose and do not let anyone else use it.
Cover your mouth while sneezing
- Use a tissue paper while sneezing.
- If you do not have a tissue paper while sneezing, use your elbow to cover your mouth.
Do not share things you use with others
- Use a separate set of utensils. This includes: plates, glasses, spoons, bowls, etc. Also use separate towels, bedsheets and pillow covers.
- Wash your belongings after each use. Use a dishwasher to wash utensils and detergents to wash clothes.
The family members of the person being home quarantined are advised to do the following
- Only an assigned family member should be tasked with taking care of the quarantined individual.
- The assigned family member should wear gloves if they need to deal with the belongings of the quarantined person.
- Avoid shaking soiled linens or having direct contact with skin.
- Use disposable gloves when cleaning surfaces or handling soiled linen.
- Wash hands after removing gloves.
- Visitors should not be allowed.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the quarantined person's room daily with one percent sodium hypochlorite solution.
- Clean and disinfect toilet surfaces daily with regular household bleach solution.
- Clean clothes and other linens used by the person separately using common household detergents and dry them.
The home quarantine period is for 14 days from contact with a confirmed case, or earlier, if a suspected case – involving the contact of an index patient – turns out to be negative upon laboratory testing.