FIDE continues to closely monitor the corona virus disease (COVID-19) outbreak which was first reported in Hubei, China on 31st December, 2019.
As of 20th February, 2020, there have been 75 748 confirmed cases globally with 2129 deaths. Outside China, 1073 cases have been reported by 26 countries with only 8 deaths. The epicenter of the outbreak remains the Hubei province, China with a relatively lower but increasing transmission risk elsewhere around the world.
In view of the danger posed by the COVID-19 virus epidemic, FIDE, through its Medical Commission, has developed a medical security policy and protocol which is aimed at minimizing chances of transmission of the COVID-19 virus at the upcoming 90th FIDE Congress and General Extraordinary Assembly in Abu Dhabi from 26th February to 1st of March, 2020. The protocol was reviewed and approved by the FIDE Management Board. This protocol shall be shared with all congress attendees as well as with all FIDE affiliated national federations and the congress hosts (UAE). The protocol shall also be published on the FIDE e-magazine.
The following measures shall be put in place at the 90th FIDE congress, to prevent the possible spread of the COVID-19 virus and protect the participants against infection:
1. There shall be screening stations for all congress attendees, manned by nurses.
• At these stations, attendees shall be screened for symptoms of Covid-19 disease, including having a body temperature check as well as a recent travel history to determine the risk of Covid-19 infection (attendees are therefore advised to carry their passports at all times)
2. Bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitizer shall be distributed to all congress attendees.
• Attendees are encouraged to use these hand sanitizers frequently to clean their hands in order to reduce the chances of infection with the COVID-19 virus.
3. N95 masks shall be distributed to all conference attendees. All the participants are requested to bring their own masks since they are out of stock in UAE.
• Conference attendees who are coughing or sneezing are especially encouraged to use these masks to avoid possible spread of the COVID-19 virus.
• It should be noted that masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
• If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
• Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
• Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
• Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
• To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of the mask).
4. The congress meeting rooms shall have a proper and well-functioning ventilation and air circulation with fresh air intake.
• This measure will ensure that the air in the meeting rooms is fresh and that the meeting rooms have rapidly circulating air at all times to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19 virus.
5. Meeting rooms shall not be overcrowded and there shall be sufficient physical separation between people.
• This shall minimize the chances of possible transmission of COVID-19 virus between meeting attendees.
6. During coffee breaks and communal meals, special measures will be put in place to minimize overcrowding and to avoid too much close personal contact between attendees.
• This shall also minimize the likelihood of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
In addition to the above measures, congress attendees are encouraged to practice the following personal protection behaviors in order to protect themselves and others from infection with the coronavirus (COVID-19)
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
1. Wash your hands frequently
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub eliminates the virus if it is on your hands.
2. Practice respiratory hygiene
When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
Why? Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing prevent the spread of germs and viruses. If you sneeze or cough into your hands, you may contaminate objects or people that you touch.
3. Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.
Why? When someone who is infected with a respiratory disease, like 2019-nCoV, coughs or sneezes they project small droplets containing the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the virus.
4. Avoid handshakes, hugs, kisses on the cheek and other close personal contacts with fellow conference attendees and other persons present
Why? COVID-19 is spread via coming into contact with infected droplets and the above actions can expose you to infection with COVID-19 if your close contact is infected.
5. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces that can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.
6. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Tell your health care provider if you have traveled in an area in China where 2019-nCoV has been reported, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has traveled from China and has respiratory symptoms.
Why? Whenever you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing it’s important to seek medical attention promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Respiratory symptoms with fever can have a range of causes, and depending on your personal travel history and circumstances, 2019-nCoV could be one of them.