Coronavirus Advice

Precautions to take and where to find out more:

Following statements issued by the World Health Organisation, we would like to provide some information in connection with the Coronavirus.  We also recommend that you review WHO advice online, in particular, “Coronavirus disease – advice to the public”:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public 

Please ensure that you take the following actions to reduce the risks of exposure:

Wash your hands frequently – Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

  • Why? –  Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Maintain social distancing – Maintain at least 2 metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

  • Why? – When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain the virus.

Avoid touching eyes, nose & mouth

  • Why? –  Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth.

Practice respiratory hygiene – This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

  • Why? –  Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early: Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention:

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call 111 if you need to speak to someone.

  • Why?  – National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.

What about attending meetings?

Here is some very practical advice based on instructions issued by the British Standards Institute (BSI) to members of their committees:

As you would be aware, the situation regarding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is developing daily across the world. We wanted to provide you with guidance around your participation in committee meetings over the coming weeks and months.

Your safety and wellbeing, as well as that of our colleagues, is our highest priority. We have carefully considered the official advice available to us and our responsibility to reduce the risk posed to those participating in, and supporting, the work of our committees.

Please always follow the official advice being communicated by authorities in your location regarding travel and seek medical advice in the event of symptoms. You should also consult the advice being given by the authorities in the location you’re considering travelling to.

We ask you to consider whether you need to attend meetings in person. You are welcome to participate remotely should this be necessary [and if the facility is available], or should you prefer not to travel.

Please note that if you do travel to a meeting, you will be asked to confirm that you understand the UK Government advice and it is okay for you to be in a public space and attend the meeting. We have implemented this measure to help combat the spread of the virus.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience as we seek to navigate this rapidly developing situation.

Cybersecurity: Warning about Coronavirus Scammers

Cybersecurity firm Check Point Software Technologies put out some interesting research on coronavirus “activity.” It is enlightening to see how quickly the bad actors have moved to take advantage of this space.

Since January, there have been more than 4,000 coronavirus-related internet domains registered globally. And out of these, 3% are malicious and another 5% are highly suspicious.

That’s at least 320 websites that are likely to lead to some kind of cyberattack if we visit the site. And coronavirus-related websites are 50% more likely to be malicious than other websites.

Another cybersecurity firm, Sophos, has noted the uptick in coronavirus-related phishing emails. These typically claim that information is available about the coronavirus in your local town, and a Microsoft document is attached.

Malicious software is automatically downloaded onto the computer of anyone who clicks on it. Then, cybercriminals try to find information that can provide access to financial accounts and so forth.

Other messages claim that they have a cure to COVID-19… Please, please don’t fall for this.

To be very clear, there is currently no cure or vaccine for COVID-19.

Several candidate therapies and vaccines are readying for clinical trials this year, but they won’t be approved by the FDA anytime in 2020. Put simply, the drug development process takes longer than that to ensure the safety of the therapy.

Please, don’t click on any links claiming there is a cure. Don’t download any files from an unknown sender about coronavirus, and don’t even click on links shared on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter unless you know where the link comes from.

There is simply too much risk in doing so.

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