26 February 2020 | St Albans, UK [Victor Hulbert]
With an increase in the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in certain European countries, particularly northern Italy, the Trans-European Division is reiterating the advice given by the General Conference Health department.
“We need to be sensible and follow the current health advice, taking the necessary and appropriate action,” states Trans-European Division (TED) Executive Secretary Audrey Andersson, “but we also do not want to be unnecessarily distracted from our mission.”
TED staff will continue to monitor health guidelines and restrictions in various countries and will update advice as appropriate.
Current General Conference advice is:
- Frequently clean hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
- Coughing and sneezing etiquette: Sneeze into the folded arm; cover your cough. Take masks with you when travelling. Should you encounter situations where people cough and sneeze and are in close proximity, have no hesitation to use your mask (airports, airplane cabin, lobbies, malls, student classes, and other gatherings, etc.)
- Maintain social distancing – at least 3 feet or I meter between yourself and other people. Avoid close contact with those who cough or sniff
- Avoid touching/rubbing your eyes, nose and mouth
- If you develop a cough and experience changes in your breathing, seek medical help early and share your travel history with the health care provider
- Avoid open markets and direct contact with animals/animal products
- Careful food safety practices (well-cooked food, clean produce, pasteurised milk)
- Do not avoid the flu vaccine travel advisory
- Avoid travel to endemic areas
If you think you have been exposed by travel or contact with an affected individual, SEEK ADVICE from your primary care physician! Be sure to disclose your travel history. There is global awareness, and this is not the time to panic – rather to quietly trust in God.
Very practical advice is provided by the World Health Organisation. Also, follow the recommendations of your national government. This will include self-quarantine if returning from an affected area. [This is the current UK government advice for those involved in overseas travel.]
The worst affected area in Europe is currently northern Italy. The Seventh-day Adventist leadership there is following government advice in the restricted areas with the churches staying closed, replaced by live-streaming from central, unaffected areas. Worship services will also be available on the Adventist FM network. [See the full update on the Inter-European Division website.]
There is currently no intention to cancel or postpone any of the programmes involving TED staff across Europe. Should the situation change, then participants will be notified. The intention is to keep mission, leadership and training active within what is safe, and within government guidelines.
For further information see:
- Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
- Advice for the public – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
- Travel advice – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/travel-advice
- Risk communication and community engagement – https://www.who.int/publications-detail/risk-communication-and-community-engagement-readiness-and-initial-response-for-novel-coronaviruses (-ncov)
- Proper handwashing technique – https://www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/
- The science behind handwashing techniques – https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-handwashing.html
For more UK based information
- Overview of coronavirus – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- Common questions – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/common-questions/
- Travel advice – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojković, associate editor
119 St Peter’s Street, St Albans, Herts, AL1 3EY, England
E-mail: [email protected]
tedNEWS is an information bulletin issued by the communication department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Trans-European Division. Readers are free to republish or share this article with appropriate credit including an active hyperlink to the original article.