Here’s everything YOU need to know about coronavirus

Here’s everything YOU need to know about coronavirus from how to self-isolate to avoiding Covid-19 and protecting your elderly loved ones

The death toll from the coronavirus reached almost 6,000 last night with another 400 lives lost worldwide over the past 24 hours.

In Britain, the number of dead doubled, to 21, with the Government set to announce a series of tough emergency measures to try to contain the disease.

Across Europe, countries have become crippled and placed in lockdown. In Spain, cases soared from 1,500 to 5,700 and ministers declared an unprecedented two-week state of emergency. 

Pictured: Model Naomi Campbell catches a flight in full anti-virus gear as she posed on social media to followers 

France has ordered non-essential locations to close and several nations have closed their borders or shut their airports.

With the travel plans of millions already affected, US President Donald Trump last night decreed that all flights from the UK to America are to be banned from tomorrow, in addition to the 26 EU nations previously announced.

With the world facing lockdown, here’s everything you need to know at a glance. 

Is my cough a cold or Covid-19? 

Experts such as Professor Jonathan Ball, virologist at the University of Nottingham, say data suggests that in as many of 70 per cent of cases, coronavirus has symptoms similar to a common cold. 

Meanwhile, official advice is that if you have a temperature above 37.8C, feel hot to touch on your chest or back, or if you have a new, persistent cough, you should stay home for seven days. Other cold-like symptoms may be indicators and some offer this chart (below) as a rough guide… 

How best to avoid the coronavirus 

  • Health experts can’t stress enough: WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN with soap and running water for 20 seconds. Also use hand sanitiser.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze. Put tissues into a disposable rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell. A minimum distance of 6ft 6in (2 metres) is recommended.
  • Do NOT touch your face, especially mouth, nose or eyes, as this is one way the virus enters your system.
  • There’s no firm evidence that most face masks cut the risk of infection. But they might reduce hand-mouth contact.

Home-working in Pyjamas?

As comfortable as your pyjamas may seem, it’s wise to get properly dressed and adopt a regular routine by differentiating between ‘work’ and ‘down’ time. 

Also, take care of your diet as blood sugar levels affect mood and energy levels. Video conference calls with work colleagues can help stop loneliness. 

Towards evening, put away your work equipment and change clothes to help psychologically mark the shift to personal time. 

It is wise to get properly dressed so as to differentiate between work and down time (file photo of Charles Hawtrey in Carry On Nurse)

It is wise to get properly dressed so as to differentiate between work and down time (file photo of Charles Hawtrey in Carry On Nurse)

Elderly people are the most at risk 

The death rate for over-80s who contract the virus has been assessed at nearly 15 per cent, according to Chinese data. 

Anyone over 60 is advised to avoid crowds because the risk of infection may increase in closed settings with little air circulation. 

In coming weeks, the old and vulnerable may be asked to self-isolate, regardless of symptoms. 

Children, though, seem relatively unaffected – the vast majority have only mild symptoms. 

But since they tend to come into contact with far more people, they can spread the virus much more widely. 

Self-isolating? Here’s an essential survival guide if you need to do so 

If self-isolating, like Health Minister Nadine Dorries, right, avoid direct human contact. 

Instead, use video conferencing and social media.

Move around as much as possible. If you have a garden, get fresh air regularly but do NOT leave your property. 

Drink plenty of water and take paracetamol to help alleviate the symptoms.

Plan what you’ll need – food, medicines etc – and arrange how they can be obtained. Sign up to online services if you haven’t already.

Keep busy with activities. Keep your distance from others you live with, and sleep alone. 

Use separate towels. Also use a separate bathroom, if possible – but if you can’t, clean it thoroughly after using it.

Clean your phone daily

Experts believe the virus can survive on flat surfaces for days unless they’re disinfected. 

They advise cleaning your phone with alcohol wipes twice a day. Or use water and soap with a slightly wetted cloth. 

Don’t use kitchen cleaners, window cleaners or paper towels, which can leave debris and scratch the surface.

Experts advise cleaning your phone with alcohol wipes twice a day (pictured, file image of a smartphone)

Experts advise cleaning your phone with alcohol wipes twice a day (pictured, file image of a smartphone)