COVID-19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of infection are:
•Shortness of breath
Other symptoms may be fatigue, body aches and sore throat. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia with difficulty breathing, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Q: How long does it take for symptoms to show?
Symptoms of Covid-19 typically show between 2-14 days after infection. This is why people who have come into contact with an infected person should self-isolate and seek medical assistance by calling the National toll-free number 0800 029 999 or their doctor for assistance. It is now known that some people will have light symptoms and not go to the doctor, whilst some people do not show any symptoms and are asymptomatic. The latter may develop symptoms after the 14-day incubation period or may not. However, they can still spread the virus.
Q: How does COVID-19 spread?
The main routes of infection are:
• From person-to-person (close contact touching, shaking hands etc), It can be transmitted by a person within 2m radius.
• Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, by inhaling droplets up to a quarter millimeter in diameter, into their lungs.
• Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Q: What to do if you suspect you have the virus?
• Isolate yourself (stay at home and away from others).
• Contact the national emergency number, 0800 029 999, so that you can be assisted.
Q: Is there treatment available?
There is no treatment for Covid-19, despite many myths on the internet and social media. Treatment is based on symptoms according to the patient’s clinical condition. Supportive care for infected persons is usually highly effective. There are numerous trials being conducted to find a cure and work is ongoing to develop a vaccine. However, a vaccine will probably not be available for another 12-18 months.
Q: How long does the virus survive on surfaces?
Viruses cannot grow outside their host but in many cases, they can survive on surfaces. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment). If you think a surface may be contaminated, clean it with a common household disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
Q: Can the virus be transmitted through food?
There is currently no evidence to suggest that the virus is transmitted through food. However, good personal hygiene behaviour when handling food should continue i.e. not sneezing or coughing over food, washing hands.
Q: What can I do to protect myself and prevent the spread of disease?
• Cough or sneeze into a tissue.
• Throw any used tissues into the bin immediately and wash hands.
• Wash hands well with soap and water for at least 20 seconds Do this regularly, but especially after getting home from public areas and before preparing / eating food and after using tissues to blow one’s nose or to cough into.
• Use hand sanitizer after washing hands or if soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer gel. Hand sanitizer must contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective.
Note: If hands are exceptionally dirty or greasy, hand sanitizer will not work. Hands need to be washed with soap and water first and then sanitized, if needed.
• Avoid contact with people who are showing flu-like symptoms, in particular fever and coughing – keep at least a 2 metre distance from another person.
• Do not touch your face, eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands.
• Pull down the mask’s bottom so it covers your mouth and your chin.
• After use, take off the mask; remove the elastic loops from behind the ears while keeping the mask away from your face and clothes, to avoid touching potentially
contaminated surfaces of the mask.
• Discard the mask in a closed bin immediately after use.
• Perform hand hygiene after touching or discarding the mask – Use alcohol-based hand rub or, if visibly soiled, wash your hands with soap and water.
Q: Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be transmitted through the
The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air. They quickly fall on floors or surfaces.
Q: Is there a vaccine, drug or treatment for COVID-19?
Not yet. To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illness should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.
Q: Can COVID-19 be spread through coins and banknotes?
There is currently no evidence to confirm or disprove that COVID-19 virus can be transmitted through coins or banknotes. However, respiratory droplets expelled from an infected person can contaminate and persist on surfaces. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly after touching any frequently-touched surface or object, including coins or banknotes. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose, if your hands are not cleaned.
• Before touching the mask, clean hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
• Take the mask and inspect it for tears or holes.
• Orient which side is the top side.
• Ensure the proper side of the mask faces outwards (the coloured side).
• Place the mask to your face.
Q: How to put on, use, take off and dispose of a mask?
You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within 1 metre of a person who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands. Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials. WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19. The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue, and maintain a distance from people who are coughing or sneezing.
Q: What protocols have RCL FOODS implemented during the national lockdown?
• Employees at operational sites are provided with personal protective equipment (PPE). RCL FOODS conducts a thorough risk assessment per site, and ensures that
the relevant ppe to mitigate risk is provided.
• Enhanced existing deep cleaning protocols across all factories and common areas over and above our current hygiene practices.
• All persons undergo thermal testing upon arrival at any RCL FOODS sites.
• Amplified health and safety awareness around coronavirus across our organisation.
• In the event of a suspect or positive Covid-19 case, we have defined steps that each site will follow. These are aligned with the protocols defined by the Department of Health and National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).
• Maintain appropriate social distancing. Department of Employment and Labour audits our compliance to OHS Act and COVID-19 regulations at our sites during the lockdown.
Q: What happens to the products produced while a positive employee was onsite, is this safe to consume?
Our products are produced and packaged in a manner to prevent any form of contamination and maintain the product integrity in terms of quality and food safety.
Our process design, as well as the hygiene controls in place during the manufacturing process ensure that the product is adequately protected and thus safe for