COVID-19 Update: All you need to know about self-quarantine

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GHANA HEALTH SERVICE

CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19)
Self -Quarantine Guide

What does self-quarantine mean?
This is a transparent self-restriction of persons’ activities when they are not ill with COVID-19
for the purpose of protecting unexposed members of the community from contracting the disease should any at risk person become sick. It also facilitates early detection of the disease for rapid implementation of response measures. It therefore helps to prevent the spread of the disease to close friends, relatives and community members.

This is particularly important for persons who are classified as close contacts of a confirmed
COVID-19 case. Close contacts are individuals who have been in proximity of less than 1 meter to a confirmed case from 2 days prior to symptom onset of the case and as long as the person is symptomatic.

Close contacts are required to stay at their homes, hotel room or any identified accommodation without mixing with the general public or family members for 14 days since the last contact with the confirmed case.

Self-quarantined individuals will be followed up by surveillance officers either via phone or via
physical visits (in appropriate PPEs) during the period of quarantine.

Who should be self -quarantined?

  •  Travellers coming from countries/territories/areas with active transmission of COVID-19
    as analysed and designated by the Ministry of Health/ Ghana Health Service (refer to the
    list of countries) shall be in self-quarantine for 14 days.
  •  Any individual who has been in close contact with a person confirmed to be having
    coronavirus disease should be self-quarantined for 14 days since the last contact with the
    confirmed case.
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How will I be monitored during self-quarantine?
For purposes of self-quarantine, you are required to provide your name, physical address and
telephone contact to contact tracing team. These details will guide our surveillance teams in
monitoring you while under self-quarantine.

Do family members or other people I live with also need self-quarantine?
Other members of the household are not required to self-quarantine unless they meet the criteria for self-quarantine as provided by the Ghana Health Service.
If you develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19, members of your household MAY be
classified as close contacts depending on your interaction with them and will be required to selfquarantine.

It is therefore important to implement effective self-quarantine

What should I do for effective self-quarantine?
If you are under self-quarantine, you are advised to observe the following prevention and control
measures:

  • Stay in an airy room away from other people such as family members preferably with
    separate bathroom and toilet facilities. If you share the same bathroom and toilet facilities,
    ensure you disinfect it after use using regular household disinfectant or soap and water.
  • If you are working, stay at home for the entire duration of the quarantine (14 days from
    last contact with the confirmed case).
  • Ensure that you have adequate food, water, hygiene provisions (toiletries, handwashing
    facilities, hand sanitizers, etc.) and appropriate medical treatment for existing medical
    conditions while in self-quarantine.
  • Ensure that you have the necessary communication facilities e.g. mobile telephone to
    communicate with family members and other people while in quarantine.
  •  Always wash your hands with soap and water regularly or use an alcohol-based hand rub/
    sanitizer
  •  Cover your nose and mouth with a single use tissue when coughing and sneezing. Throw
    away used tissue immediately into a dustbin and wash your hands immediately with soap
    and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  •  Stay away from pets, as there is a chance that humans can pass the disease to them
  •  Avoid sharing toothbrushes, utensils, dishes, drinks, towels, clothes or bed linen with
    anybody in your home.
  •  Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs/handles, bedside
    tables, bedframes, and other bedroom furniture daily with regular household disinfectant
  •  Clean and disinfect bathroom and toilet surfaces at least once a day with regular
    household disinfectant
  •  If you develop symptoms of acute respiratory infection, including fever, cough, sore
    throat and difficulty in breathing, please call for immediate help on the following
    telephone numbers: 050 949 7700, 055 843 9868
    What happens if I do not comply with self-quarantine orders?
    If a person is suspected to have breached the guidelines they had voluntarily agreed to follow, the surveillance team will work closely with the person to ensure that they understand their obligations. They will also be helped to appreciate the importance and seriousness of selfquarantine under the current global COVID-19 threat. Individuals who breach the self-quarantine orders will be placed under mandatory quarantine.
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What should I do to keep my spirit up while in self-quarantine?
Being under quarantine can be frightening. The following should be done to reduce
anxiety:

  • Talk to the other members of the family about the COVID-19. Understanding the
    disease will reduce anxiety.
  • Reassure young children using age-appropriate language.
  •  Think about how you have coped with difficult situations in the past and reassure
    yourself that you will cope with this situation too. Remember that quarantine won’t last
    for long.
  • Keep in touch with family members and friends via telephone, email or social media.
  •  Stock plenty of materials to read to keep your mind occupied.
  •  Exercise regularly from your quarantine area.
  •  Ensure that you drink at least 8 glasses of water every day to keep hydrated.
  •  Eat all your meals in a timely manner.
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What happens when I complete the assigned days of self-quarantine?

  • If you complete the assigned days of self-quarantine without any symptoms, the
    surveillance team/health authorities will formally discharge you from follow up and you
    will be free to go about your usual activities.
  •  A medical certificate of completion of self-quarantine will be issued to you.
    What happens if I develop symptoms during the 14 days of self-quarantine?
    If at any time during your 14 days of self-quarantine, you develop symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat and difficulty in breathing), you should seek medical attention immediately by calling your designated surveillance officer. For any other information call any of the following GHS hotlines: 050 949 7700, 055 843 9868.

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