Slovakia's Chinese community briefed on coronavirus pandemic
The Chinese community in Slovakia has received a video briefing on the coronavirus pandemic by Shanghai health officials.
The lecture was organized by the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office, Shanghai Health Commission and the Chinese Embassy in Slovakia to give the Chinese community up-to-date information about the pandemic and how to prevent infection.
There have been 742 confirmed cases and two deaths in Slovakia.
According to Sun Lijie, the Chinese ambassador to Slovakia, there are 3,000 Chinese citizens in the European nation, including students, teachers and volunteers. None have become infected.
The Slovakian government has taken measures, including closing borders, schools and non-necessary businesses, and declared a state of emergency to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
Foreign arrivals are asked to stay in quarantine at home for 14 days, and citizens have been advised to reduce outdoor activities around the Easter holiday.
But the nation faces challenges including insufficient medical capacity, a shortage of medical supplies and the risk of imported cases.
Sun Xiaodong, deputy director of the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, briefed citizens on the situation in Shanghai and its experiences in fighting the pandemic. He stressed that measures including reducing gatherings, wearing masks and washing hands regularly are crucial for self protection.
When answering questions from his listeners online, he said people should not self-test for the virus at home.
“Coronavirus patients show symptoms such coughs, fever and breath shortness, which are also seen among patients suffering colds and flu,” he said. “So you have to make a judgment not only according to the symptoms, but also where you have been and whether you have had contact with confirmed cases.
“There is no easy and fast self-service test,” he said. “Only test kits produced by qualified enterprises and approved by local FDA are reliable. The US has announced earlier that they have developed test kits that can get results in 15 minutes, but it’s for professional to use. Medical staff need to wear protective outfits before taking samples, and the samples have to be dealt with in labs. Biosafety problems might be caused if ordinary people do it at home.”
Sun also refuted online comment that people who can hold their breath for more than 15 seconds are free from infection.
“Vital capacity varies from people to people and many of our coronavirus patients can hold their breath for more than 15 seconds,” he said. “It cannot be a factor to judge whether a person is infected with coronavirus.”