The frequently asked questions on top of this page cover general answers and recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the national health authorities.
If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you will also find information how the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation may impact UNHCR services for refugees and asylum-seekers.
General FAQs about coronavirus (COVID-19)
Is the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) very contagious/ is it easy to get the virus?
Coronavirus is harder to catch than you think. It takes close, direct contact with a sick person (or with objects and surfaces the person has used) to become infected with the virus. Many of the people who get the disease are caregivers and family members caring for a sick person without personal protective equipment.
My health insurance is cancelled, will it be reactivated due to COVID-19 outbreak?
While the health insurance will not be automatically reactivated due to the current situation, emergency health services related to COVID-19 are accessible for Turkish and foreign nationals regardless of the health insurance situation.
Can I get the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by talking to someone or sitting next to them?
You are very unlikely to catch the virus by talking to people, walking in the street or shopping in the market or another crowded space. Being nearby a person generally doesn’t spread the virus. There is no change you will get the virus if you have not travelled to the affected countries recently or have not been in contact with a person who is sick with coronavirus.
Does having a COVID-19 patient in a hospital in my country put all people at risk?
Hospitals are prepared to care for patients with infectious diseases. Having a patient of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in a hospital means they will receive the right treatment to help them get healthy and prevent the disease from spreading.
Should we avoid people coming from China?
We should use the same protective measures with any person (no matter the nationality, origin, etc) who may be sick and have symptoms similar to a cold (runny nose, fever, sore throat, cough and short-ness of breath). These include washing hands often with water and soap or alcohol-based hand gel to wash the germs off hands; keeping a distance from anyone who is coughing, sneezing, or sick (at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance and encouraging them to go to a nearby healthcare center.
Should we avoid Chinese food?
The new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is not spread by eating Chinese food. It is safe to eat any fully cooked food in a hygienic and clean environment.
How can I keep my child safe?
It is important to teach your children to wash their hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser. You should also teach them to cough/sneeze into their bent elbow or into a tissue and put the tissue directly into the garbage and wash their hands right after. Keep windows open at home and on public transport so the air circulates and carries germs away!
Do I need a mask to protect myself against COVID-19?
No, the best thing you can do to protect yourself from the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is to simply wash your hands well and often.
- If you’re healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person that might have COVID-19.
- If you are sneezing or coughing often, you should wear a mask so that you don’t spread the virus through coughing or sneezing around other people or onto surfaces.
In line with the guidance provided by the Turkish government, wearing face masks will be mandatory at areas where people are collectively located, including supermarkets, marketplaces and workplaces.