The UNON Joint Medical service has prepared this guideline for UN personnel you may be required to self-quarantine after travel into Kenya or after possible exposure to COVID-19. The recommendations are in keeping with the current Kenya Government requirements for self-quarantine.
This guideline will summarize the key steps and precautions you will need to take during the period of self-quarantine to keep yourself and loved ones safe from the impact of COVID-19.
What is COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)?
- COVID-19 is caused by a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) that affects the respiratory system. It was first reported in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, on 31 December 2019 but has rapidly spread to more than 100 countries globally.
- Most cases are mild but and there is currently no specific treatment for COVID-19. Basic supportive medical care can treat most of the symptoms.
- There is also no vaccine available for use against COVID-19. Basic hygiene measures are effective in preventing COVID-19 infection. These measures include frequent hand washing with soap and water (or alternate use of alcohol hand sanitizer), observing cough etiquette and social distancing. You can find more information on preventive measures from this video Link
What are the symptoms of COVID-19 Infection?
Most people confirmed to have COVID-19 will display the following symptoms:
- shortness of breath.
- Infections with mild symptoms (such as sore throat, body aches, cold-like symptoms) or no symptoms are also known to occur.
What does close contact with a COVID-19 patient entail?
Close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case occurs when one experiences the following types of exposure:
- Having direct contact with a COVID-19 patient within 1 meter or less for at least 15 minutes.
- Traveling together with a COVID-19 patient in any kind of conveyance.
- Living in the same household as a COVID-19 patient.
- Health care workers or care givers providing direct care to COVID-19 patients.
In case you have experienced any of above close contacts with a confirmed case of COVID-19, kindly contact the UNON Joint Medical Service on the 24hr cell number 0724 255378 for specific guidance.
What does self-quarantine for COVID-19 mean?
Self-quarantine is the act of separating oneself from others following possible or confirmed exposure to COVID-19. When you have NO symptoms, you will be required to self -quarantine for 14 days as you observe your health.
Steps to take before the period of self-quarantine:
- Discuss your COVID-19 household plan with household members. This should include preventive measures for COVID-19, Emergency contacts and purchase of adequate food, supplies and medication for the 2 -week period of mandatory quarantine. Also discuss the need to monitor their own health for emergence of any symptoms during the period you are in quarantine. Prompt reporting of symptoms will allow for timely assessment and support.
- Keep track of local news for evolving travel & health requirements from the government at your location.
Steps to take during the period of self-quarantine:
- Stay at home for the entire period of self-quarantine.
- Do not go to school, work or attend public events or gatherings.
- Do not use public transport or taxis.
- Contact UNON JMS to provide a person you designate with a self-quarantine kit containing a digital thermometer, surgical masks (in case you develop symptoms) and information pack relating to your quarantine status.
- As far as possible, maintain a dedicated room for yourself during the 14-day quarantine period.
- Minimize time you spent in shared spaces like sitting rooms, kitchen. Keep a minimum distance of 1 meter between yourself and others when in common spaces.
- Do not share utensils and crockery.
- Keep the rooms well ventilated by opening windows to allow in fresh air.
- As much as possible do not share bathroom or toilet facilities. You may also consider drawing up a Rota for use of bathroom facilities where you use them last. Clean the toilet seat, taps & other surfaces with bleach after every use.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces. In case you develop any respiratory symptoms, carefully dispose personal waste like used tissues into one sealed rubbish bag and then into a dedicated lined dust bin with lid cover.
- Do not shake dirty laundry to minimize the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air.
- Try not to have any visitors to your house during this time to reduce the risk of exposing additional persons to COVID-19 infection.
Monitor your health and body temperature.
Take your temperature twice a day- in the morning and evening and at any other time if you feel that you are developing a fever. If you develop a fever (Temperature above 37.5 degrees Centigrade) or any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during this period, proceed to record the same & contact JMS clinic immediately on 0724 255 378.
- JMS has provided this self-monitoring log to assist with self-monitoring while at home.
- Set for yourself a healthy daily routine. Keep yourself well hydrated and maintain regular mealtimes and exercise times.
- In case you develop a cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing and sneezing and throw the tissue in a dedicated lined dust bin with lid cover.
- Wash your hand with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry them with paper towels or tissue. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands. Always wash your hands when they are visibly dirty.
- Keep yourself busy with in-house activities you enjoy.
- Set a time limit of exposure to media updates on COVID-19 to avoid triggers of worry and agitation. Avoid social media sites that misrepresent the facts on COVID-19.
- Make time for some physical exercises to enhance your overall wellbeing.
- Discuss preventive precautions with your household members and have them monitor themselves for any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Seek support and encouragement from friends & family and the UN staff counseling network by phone, email, social media or skype.
- Beware of unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with your emotions (such as smoking, drinking or use of other drugs)
Special considerations if you live alone:
- Make sure to keep in touch with other family members and friends via phone, email or social media to connect for social support.
- Plan how you to access your food/groceries and other required supplies You may ask your friends and relatives to buy the same and bring to your residence. They should not come into the house, but rather leave the items outside the door for your collection. You can also consider using online shopping applications with home delivery facility. The delivery personnel will likewise leave the purchased supplies at your front door.
- Whether you develop symptoms or not during your self-quarantine period, keep in contact with UNON Joint Medical Service to benefit from important health advice or to receive timely treatment if required.
- The UNON Staff counselor, Peninah Irungu is on hand to offer support together with her network of UN Staff counselors. Peninah Irungu can be reached on the contacts below.
- You can find additional information and support from the following links and contacts:
JMS 24hr SITCEN:
Tel: +254 724 255 378;
UNON Staff counselor
Tel: +254 728 961 939 or Ext: 24703; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org