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This is what it means to self-quarantine

Kenyans have reacted angrily after 239 passengers in a China Southern Airlines flight that landed at the JKIA on Wednesday were allowed to melt into the population on condition that they self-quarantine for 14 days. But what is self-quarantine and what does it entail and how are countries that have been affected by the ravaging coronavirus handling it?

Self-quarantine means staying in your home, hotel room or provided accommodation, and not leaving for the period of time you are required to isolate for.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one should avoid “unnecessary contact” and monitor their health.

People who have self-quarantined for 14 days without any symptoms are free to resume their normal activities.

But if you develops any symptoms during the 14 days, you should not go to hospital or your doctor’s surgery because you can unintentionally spread the virus at medical centres. Instead, a person should call the ambulance and tell the operator it is a suspected case of coronavirus.

Returned from one of the affected countries

The virus has a 14-day incubation period, so if you have recently returned from one of the affected countries here is what is expected of you for the next 14 days:

• Monitor your temperature at least twice a day.

• Watch for symptoms of respiratory infection like fever, cough, difficulty in breathing and sneezing.

• Wear a surgical mask and not a dust mask when you are in front of another person and when you have to go out.

• Wash your hands regularly or use a sanitiser gel.

• Avoid any contact with vulnerable people; children, pregnant women, those with ongoing health problems or elderly people.

• Avoid patronizing places where vulnerable people are present especially hospitals, nursery schools, maternity wards or old people’s homes.

• Avoid all non-essential outings like large gatherings, restaurants, cinema halls.

• Choose home working, homeschooling if you are a student and also avoid close contact in meetings, lifts or canteen.

• Children should stay home and not be sent to school or nursery.

Here are the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in China and other countries. There are currently 82,359 confirmed cases worldwide, including 2,775 fatalities:

1. China: 2715
2. Iran: 22
3. South Korea: 14
4. Italy: 11
5. Diamond Princess Ship: 4
6. Japan: 2
7. Hong Kong: 2
8. France: 2
9. Taiwan: 1
10. Philippines: 1
11. Brazil: 1