Summary of Covid-19 rules valid in the Czech Republic

Even though the numbers of infected people are steeply rising, and so are gradually the numbers of admissions to hospital, it still holds true that Covid-19 infection usually manifests in flu-like symptoms, which can be easily treated at home with bed rest.

 

Please, don´t worry so much

Therefore, remaining calm is a reasonable response. To help prevent the infection have a rest, exercise, stay positive (not in the laboratory sense😊). Wear face masks indoors. 

 

What should I do in quarantine? When to go for a test?

If you have been in contact with somebody who has a confirmed infection with Covid-19 (at present confirmation = positive PCR test), follow self-isolation rules (stay at home) even if you haven’t been contacted by Public Health, or ring your GP. If you are feeling entirely well, it is not necessary to inform anybody at the weekend. Your GP or Public Health officer will issue a Covid test request form for 5th – 7th day after your last contact with a Covid positive person. Please do not attend for the test early if you are symptom-free, the test is timed with the incubation period in mind. If you experience any symptoms during your self-isolation period it is of course prudent to have your test immediately. There are no restrictions for your contacts (so called secondary contacts), only if/when your infection is confirmed. However, if you have strong suspicions that you may be infected, I would advise to keep the whole household at home until you get your test results. If the positive contact is a member of your household, the last day of contact is considered to be the day they tested positive. Quarantine lasts 10 days (even if your test should be negative on day 7)! If your test is positive (with or without symptoms) you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days from getting your test. Even though it is hard, it is important for everybody to follow the quarantine/self-isolation rules, otherwise the infection will continue to spread rapidly.

 

Contact with a covid-positive person in the household

If there is a sick person with confirmed Covid-19 in the household, it is important to follow hygiene rules – separate room, the sick person to use the bathroom last, ventilation, don’t meet with the elderly in your family (don’t let the grandparents babysit your kids), etc. All members of the household are in quarantine in this situation and should be tested on 5-7th day from the sick person’s test. If you have symptoms, the test should be carried out immediately. If a household member tested positive, don’t send your kids to school/nursery, even if that person feels well. It is possible that another household member will test positive during the testing period and thus they will become a contact for the rest of the household. In that case, if it is not possible to separate, the quarantine period will be extended for another 10 days for everybody. This is the only way to ensure the infection stops spreading and we ask you to follow these rules.

 

What shloud I do in isolation?

Isolation (staying at home / in the hospital for people with confirmed Covid-19 infection) lasts a minimum of 10 days, and the person should be symptom-free for at least 3 days before the end of the isolation (the loss of taste and smell can last longer, symptoms of acute infection have to have subsided). Isolation ends without a test. It has been proven that infectivity rapidly decreases in time and in symptom-free people after 10 days it is unlikely that they will pass on the infection. Don’t take any unnecessary “just in case” tests! The PCR method is very sensitive. It is unclear how to proceed if you have a positive test result after 10 days (you are 98% non-infectious). Having had a confirmed Covid-19 infection you will be regarded as immune for the next 90 days; if you come into contact with a Covid positive person you will not be required to go into quarantine or to be tested.

During your quarantine please behave responsibly, don’t go shopping, order online if you can. Don’t come into contact with those at risk. Remain in regular contact with your GP – by email or by phone.

 

When should I call the ambulance?

If you or your family member develop shortness of breath, blueish fingers, collapse, increased somnolence, confusion, fevers that do not respond to antipyretics, you must call the ambulance at 155.

 

Making a phone call

Please be patient and lenient when you call your GP – we have been receiving up to 80-100 calls a day (as well as doing our usual work – looking after the acutely and chronically sick). If you are calling with a Covid query please have all the relevant information at hand (date of contact, were you indoors / outside, distance, were you wearing masks?, your address including the post code, your telephone number). You may send all this info by email if you have an agreement with your doctor. Your doctor / the public health officer will decide whether this was a so called epidemiologically significant contact and will decide regarding the need for quarantine accordingly. (epidemiologically significant contact = under 1,5m, no face mask, longer than 15 mins).

If you are unable to reach your GP / Public Health and you know you have been in contact with a Covid positive person, stay at home voluntarily. We can back date your sick note for up to 3 days.

 

Make arrangements for GP visits

If you have symptoms of infection please do not attend the GP office if at all possible, without making prior arrangements. If you are in the waiting room, let the nurse know immediately. At the same time, lots of diseases are impossible to diagnose by phone and it is necessary for you to attend in person. If we make arrangements, we can wear personal protective equipment and see you safely. There is more to medicine than Covid. The care of both the acutely and chronically ill carries on as usual. We continue to provide preventive check-ups – please don’t put these off because of the pandemic.

 

Take care of the elderly

Be mindful of the elderly in your family and around you. Don’t visit them if you are feeling ill, make regular telephone contact, order their shopping for them. If you suspect infection please contact their GP and seek their advice. 

The current strict measures are not popular but it seems it is the only way to decrease the pressure our hospitals. We can influence how rapidly the number of sick will increase. On behalf of us doctors I promise we will endeavour to communicate clearly, if we are given the floor. 

 

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