Novel Coronavirus Information

12th February 2020

This page will be reviewed regularly and updated with new information when necessary. Last reviewed: 17 February 2020

Raleigh International is closely monitoring the developing novel coronavirus outbreak.

We are not currently making any changes to our planned programmes. The areas where Raleigh staff and volunteers are working in Nepal, Tanzania and Costa Rica are low risk for coronavirus.

The UK government is not currently advising against travel to any other country/territory outside of China as a result of coronavirus risks. However, they are advising precautions for those returning from travel in South East Asia. For more information visit the GOV.UK website.

Any volunteer or staff member who develops symptoms which could be coronavirus will be isolated, monitored by medics and, if required, taken to a local medical facility that can test and treat them. Further safety and security systems for volunteers and staff will also be activated in this event.

We will be issuing protective and preventative guidance relating to coronavirus to all staff, volunteers and partner organisations as part of our standard safety and medical procedures.

We are following World Health Organisation (WHO) and UK government guidance. Our policies and process relating to novel coronavirus will remain under constant review and we will provide further information if necessary. For more information and advice about the coronavirus outbreak please visit the WHO’s website and the GOV.UK website.

If you are a volunteer, next of kin or partner organisation and have questions or concerns relating to coronavirus and Raleigh International’s work please contact our safety team.

Novel coronavirus: Protecting yourself and others from getting sick

Information about the virus

Coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.

The UK government is advising people who think they could have, or have been exposed to, coronavirus to take simple steps including avoiding close contact with other people as much as possible, like they would with other flu viruses.

Please find more information on the basic protective and hygiene measures you can take below.

WHO guidance: Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus

Wash your hands frequently

Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty.

Why? Thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water, and using alcohol-based hand rub, eliminates the virus if it is on your hands.

Practice respiratory hygiene

When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

Why? Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing prevent the spread of germs and viruses. If you sneeze or cough into your hands, you will contaminate objects or people that you touch.

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.

Why? When someone who is infected with a respiratory disease, like coronavirus, 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

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands and avoid other people touching your eyes, nose and mouth unless you are in a medical environment.

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

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Phone your health care provider, do not attend hospitals or doctors surgeries without speaking to them on the phone first. If you have travelled in an area where coronavirus has been reported, or if you have been in close contact with someone with who has travelled from an area where coronavirus is present in the last 14 days and has respiratory symptoms.

Why? Whenever you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing it’s important to seek medical attention promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Phone in advance to access medical attention whilst reducing transmission to other people. Respiratory symptoms with fever can have a range of causes, and depending on your personal travel history and circumstances, coronavirus could be one of them. The Doctor or Nurse will be able to advise if you should attend the clinic in person after speaking to you on the phone.

If you have mild respiratory symptoms and no travel history to or within China

If you have mild respiratory symptoms and no travel history to or within areas where coronavirus is present, carefully practice basic respiratory and hand hygiene and stay at home until you are recovered, if possible.

As a general precaution, practice general hygiene measures when visiting live animal markets, wet markets or animal product markets

Ensure regular and thorough hand washing with soap and water after touching animals and animal products; avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with hands; and avoid contact with sick animals or spoiled animal products. Strictly avoid any contact with other animals in the market (e.g., stray cats and dogs, rodents, birds, bats). Avoid contact with potentially contaminated animal waste or fluids on the soil or structures of shops and market facilities.

Avoid consumption of raw or undercooked animal products

Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

More information and updates

For more information, updates and advice about the novel coronavirus outbreak please visit the WHO’s website and the GOV.UK website.

If you are a volunteer, next of kin or partner organisation and have questions or concerns relating to coronavirus and Raleigh International’s work please contact our safety team.