Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

COVID-19 is caused by a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Because it is a new virus, scientists are learning more each day. Although most people who have COVID-19 have mild symptoms, COVID-19 can also cause severe illness and even death. Some groups, including older adults and people who have certain underlying medical conditions, are at increased risk of severe illness.


About the Name

On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV.

Source of the Virus

Coronaviruses, named for the crown-like spikes on their surfaces, are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. There are many types of human coronaviruses, including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.

Animal coronaviruses rarely infect people and then spread between people. This occurred with two earlier coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.

SARS-CoV-2 virus is a beta coronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir. However, the exact source of this virus has not been identified.

Home Quarantine during COVID 19 Out-break
To provide general public, international travelers arriving in Pakistan, public health workers & health
care providers the guidelines regarding home quarantine of contacts of a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, and for those who arrive in Pakistan after undertaking international travel.

Start of home/ self-quarantine is an attempt to involve the community and general population in
implementing public health measures to limit the spread of a disease that has the potential to
overwhelm the available resources applicable in contacts of confirmed cases and, for international inbound travelers in Pakistan

A person is considered as a contact if he or she:
• Had a direct physical touch with, or with the body fluids of, someone with confirmed or
suspected COVID-19 disease.
• Has shared a space with someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 disease for more
than 15 minutes.
• Has cared for a patient with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 disease, without using the
recommended personal protective equipment.
In home quarantine, a contact is segregated in his home with restricted movement and interaction with
other members of family and general public for a period of 10 days.

For international travelers, a 10 days duration of self/home quarantining is suggested, from the day or
arrival in Pakistan.
The quarantine will end if the suspected case, whom the quarantined person had come in contact, or
shared a space with, turns out negative on laboratory testing, or the quarantined person has completed
the 10 days self/home quarantine duration.

• The quarantined person should stay segregated in a separate room if possible or observe
social distancing of at least 1 meter from people living in the same house.
• The quarantined person should preferably take the food in the same room and should not
share the washroom with others.
• Use separate dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, and other
items for the quarantined person.
• Clean the doorknobs, bathroom utensils and taps with soap and water.
• Wash food utensils, clothes and bed linen with soap and water.
• Monitor body temperature with a thermometer, twice a day.
• Communication link with a healthcare worker should be established for the duration of
the quarantine period. Appearance of any of the symptoms of COVID-19 must
immediately be reported.
• Quarantined person and household members should be counseled, educated and sensitized about
the importance of quarantine. The guidelines for hand sanitization and cleaning and disinfection
of environmental surface should be understood and observed by all members of the household.
• If the person in quarantine is a housewife, she should avoid preparing, cooking and
serving food to other members of the family.
• Minimize visitors to the household. The quarantined person should not interact with the visitors.
• Dispose off home garbage in closed bags at garbage collection points.
Note: The above recommendations are being regularly reviewed by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations &
Coordination and will be updated based on the international & national recommendations and best practices.
The Ministry acknowledges the contribution of Irfan Mirza, Ms Javeria Yousaf and HSA/ HPSIU/ NIH team to compile these guidelines.

3. (Cited on 16th September 2020)
4. (Cited on 16th September 2020)