Dear Gifu JETs,
According to the World Health Organization, there have been 85 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Japan as of February 20. This number do)es not include the 621 cases in the Diamond Princess cruise ship that is currently docked at the Port of Yokohama. (https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200220-sitrep-31-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=dfd11d24_2)
As you may have known, persons with weaker or compromised immune systems are likely to contract this virus. These include the elderly, infants and those with underlying health conditions, just to name a few. Individuals who are currently taking immunosuppressive medications like steroids for asthma and other diseases are also vulnerable.
That being said, panicking will not solve anything but health education, proper nutrition, coughing etiquette and urgent medical attention will. To prevent the spread of this virus and other contagious diseases, we are advising everyone to:
1. Regularly wash your hands vigorously.
2. Avoid touching your face.
3. Strictly adhere to coughing etiquette by covering your nose and mouth when coughing, NOT with your hands but with a handkerchief, mask, tissue or even the sleeve of your shirt.
4. Live a healthier life by eating nutritious food, drinking plenty of water and engaging in physical activities.
5. Be accountable and responsible by consulting a healthcare professional immediately when you get cold-like symptoms and fever.**
** Please refer to this material created by the Gifu International Center (GIC) about COVID-19. It also has the contact details of various Public Health Consultation Centers around Gifu Prefecture (https://www.gic.or.jp/en/2020/02/information-about-the-novel-coronavirus-covid-19.html). For translation services, please call GIC at 058-263-8066. They are open during business hours on Monday-Friday (excluding national holidays) from 09:30-16:30.
As usual, please do not hesitate to keep in touch with your supervisors, RPAs and yours truly for any concerns.
Thank you very much and stay safe!
Gelo Pascual, BSN, RN (^_^)