In December 2019, an unknown virus from the coronavirus family appeared in central China. Despite the confinement of nearly 60 million people living mainly in Hubei province, this virus has killed 3,270 people.
This Covid-19 epidemic soon spread to other countries, becoming a global pandemic within a few weeks, pushing a large part of the planet to live under cover and in slow motion. As of March 23, this coronavirus has killed 16,961 worldwide, 860 in France.
1. What is Covid-19 coronavirus?
Covid-19 is part of the large family of coronaviruses responsible for simple colds, but also more severe pathologies such as SARS in 2003.
This virus is spread through close contact between two people through the respiratory tract (postillions or sneezing) or through direct contact (handshakes, etc.).
The virus, which can remain active for several hours, can also be transmitted through contact with infected surfaces of the carrier. Scientists say Covid-19 is at least as contagious as SARS-CoV. The incubation time for the virus would be approximately 14 days.
Read also: what are the differences between Covid-19 and influenza?
2. What are the symptoms of Covid-19?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most common symptoms of coronavirus are fever, fatigue and dry cough. Some patients experience pain, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are generally mild and appear gradually. Some people, although infected, have no symptoms and feel good, says the WHO.
Read: What are the symptoms of Covid-19 contamination?
3. What should I do if I have symptoms?
Do you think you have the symptoms of Covid-19? The course of action recommended by the health authorities is as follows: contact your doctor or any other general practitioner by telephone or teleconsultation to describe your condition. If the latter is not serious, your doctor will most likely prescribe paracetamol. You will also be asked to monitor your temperature closely and be alert for possible breathing difficulties.
In general, the patient heals within a few days and its characteristic signs, cough and fever, disappear with rest, reminds the Ministry of Health.
If the illness worsens after a few days and you have difficulty breathing and signs of suffocation despite the prescriptions of your doctor, you should call 15 who will decide whether or not to hospitalize.
Read: Confined with a person showing symptoms: what do we do?
4. What are the barrier actions to take to avoid contamination?
Barrier measures, barrier gestures, Olivier Véran, Minister of Health, quickly stressed the importance of
“These little gestures that make a great protection”. What are they ? The Ministry of Health recommends washing your hands very regularly; to cough or sneeze into his elbow or into his handkerchief; use a disposable tissue and throw it away; greet each other without shaking hands rather than kissing.
The Ministry of Health also recommends that you do not lend everyday objects such as your toothbrush, cutlery, telephone, etc. as well as regularly clean the objects and devices that you touch.
Read: what are the right things to do to protect yourself from the epidemic?
5. Can our dogs and cats catch or transmit the coronavirus?
The National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES) brought together a group of experts which concluded that it
there is no evidence that pets and farm animals play a role in the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes this disease. The Agency specifies that
if the genome of the virus has been detected in the nasal and oral cavities of a dog in contact with an infected patient in Hong Kong, detection of the genome is not sufficient evidence to conclude that the animal is infected. Passive contamination cannot be excluded, in particular due to the possible survival of the virus on a moist mucosa without necessarily replicating it.
Read: Can our dogs and cats contaminate us?
6. Why was containment decided?
” Stay home. President Emmanuel Macron has taken steps to reduce contact and travel to the bare minimum across the country as of Tuesday, March 17. The measures announced – including the closure of all schools – were particularly strong: “France has never made such decisions in peacetime” said the head of state.
The day after the presidential address, Christophe Castaner, Minister of the Interior, clarified the contours of this confinement.
Julien Denormandie, Minister of the City and Housing did the same, listing the exempted professions: these are those who will not be able to apply teleworking and “all the professions essential to the life of the Nation such as health, agrifood, essential public services such as water and electricity ”.
Read: Coronavirus. The Council of State rejects the request for total containment, but …
7. What are the exceptions that allow exits?
If containment is the watchword in this fight against the Covid-19, it is however possible to leave his home under certain conditions which have been specified over time by the government.
When teleworking is not possible, home-business trips are authorized; trips to make essential purchases in authorized establishments (list on government.fr); displacement for health reasons when these are directly linked to the coronavirus; displacement for imperative family reasons, for assistance to vulnerable persons or childcare; short trips, near the home, linked to the individual physical activity of the people, excluding any collective sports practice (one hour maximum within a radius of one kilometer), and the needs of pets.
Read: Do I have the right to go out or not? Ten questions that still bother you
8. Why do you need a travel form to leave your home and where to get it?
Since March 24, France has been officially in a state of health emergency for two months, thus removing the prospect of breaking the imposed confinement at the end of March. Voted on March 22 by Parliament, this text was published on Tuesday March 24 at Official newspaper. “Many of our fellow citizens would like to return to the normal time, but it is not for tomorrow,” warned Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, announcing a tightening of containment measures.
More than ever, if you leave your home for the reasons mentioned in the point above, you must be in possession of a certificate of derogatory travel or proof of professional travel.
The sanctions have also been tightened for those who do not respect these instructions. The € 135 flat-rate fine goes to € 1,500 in the event of a repeat offense within 15 days. Four violations within thirty days could be worth up to € 3,700 fine and six months in prison!
Read: download the travel certificate form here
9. I can no longer work, what are my rights?
Firms at a standstill, teleworking, short-time working … Many employees have seen their situation change in recent days. For all working people who have no solution, no telework to take care of children, recourse to sick leave will be automatic and automatic. It is not necessary to go to your attending physician, it is your employer who will make the approach with the Health Insurance.
All companies whose activity is reduced due to the coronavirus and in particular those (restaurants, cafes, shops, etc.) which are subject to a closure obligation in application of the decree of March 14, 2020 are eligible for the partial activity system. And the employee cannot oppose it. It allows the company to avoid having to lay off all or part of its employees.
Read: Employees, what are your rights if you cannot go to work?
10. My employer put me on partial unemployment, will I keep my salary?
Faced with store closings, short-time working and the need to keep their children, workers are worried about their future earnings. Protective devices exist, but not all losses will necessarily be compensated.
At the end of the month, your employer will pay you compensation for any hours not worked. It represents 70% of your usual gross hourly wage, which is equivalent to around 84% of your net salary. In any case, you cannot fall below the minimum wage (€ 1,219 net for 35 hours).
Read. Partial unemployment: will you keep your salary?
11. You still have questions, Ouest-France answers you!
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In the meantime stay at home as much as possible, stay informed and take good care of yourself!