Every day there is news about the Coronavirus which was discovered on January 7 in the Wuhan region of China. It is in the process of gradually spreading to the rest of the world as infected people travel around the globe. There are no reported cases in Monaco where public health authorities are vigilant and quick to act. They keep close contact with the World Health Organisation and have already taken precautionary steps and published alerts so as to minimize any risk.
Note: there is no risk with packages sent from China, or Chinese food.
It is impressive that the Department of Health immediately made a survey which led to the identification of just four young residents of Monaco travelling to China. The necessary measures have been taken. They had been in China, on the Skema campus near Shanghai.
Luckily Monaco has no airport and entry into Monaco is tightly regulated even in normal times. To be extra safe the Department of Health has developed Precise Information Cards for the public, for health professionals, and hoteliers, who regularly receive tourists from China. This is a simple and effective tool and much more effective than pages of explanations.
Hoteliers, for example, are asked to identify customers from China and convince any who have a cough and fever above 38° C, to wear a surgical mask and stay in their rooms while waiting for firefighters to intervene.
In Monaco, it is the Firefighters who are on the alert and on the front line. They are the ones to call to manage any potential situation. In France, it is “Samu” who handles calls.
Telephone Help Lines
There is a doctor Dr. Voiglio assigned as public health inspector to inform anyone in Monaco who is worried. He can be reached by telephone and can give tailor-made information:
Firefighters: 18 or 112
Dr Eric Voiglio, public health doctor:
98 98 48 50 on working days,
06 78 63 85 68 on weekends and public holidays.
The Department of Social Affairs and Health calmly remind us that: “only people exposed for less than 14 days, having stayed in China or having been in close contact with a person infected with the virus and having a low respiratory infection ( cough and fever) are considered suspicious.”
So the Information Cards prompt hoteliers, for example, to inquire: “Did the person go to the risk zone? Or was he in contact with someone who has been there?”
There is currently no emergency in Monaco
Princess Grace Hospital is very well prepared should there be any reported cases in future. The hospital has planned facilities ready to isolate patients. Blood samples would be sent immediately to Paris or soon even faster to Nice University Hospital. IF and only IF there were to be an epidemic explosion (note: there is not one) Monaco is at the ready in collaboration with specialists in France, to take care of the patients. Experts in the infectious disease service would take care of sick people.
Because of the focus and attention given to this outbreak in Wuhan China and the daily press coverage it is easy to forget that local Flu is a greater risk or local European viruses. 1% of the population in France suffers from normal Flu and normal viruses which gets hardly any press attention.
One thing is for sure there will be more and more press on this Chinese Coronavirus and one can be just as sure that the Public Health Department in Monaco is on top of the situation.
If you have any concern whatsoever call the Firefighters or the Public Health doctor. They are at the ready.