WESTERN BALKANS – As the global number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) has been increasing and the first cases are being confirmed across the Western Balkans, RYCO issues the following statement on the COVID-19 outbreak.
Having in mind that RYCO’s key activities include supporting the youth mobility programs in the Western Balkans but also the nature of such programs and putting the wellbeing of all the Western Balkan citizens at the first place, RYCO is undertaking the following measures to join the efforts of governments in containing the further spread of the virus:
Implementation of all youth exchanges supported by RYCO planned for March and April 2020 should be immediately postponed until 1 May 2020.
RYCO will maintain continuous communication with all of its partners and beneficiaries in order to coordinate further steps based on the latest decisions of governments and health institutions.
RYCO highly recommends the postponement of all other projects’ activities that include traveling, e.g. project consortia’s coordination meetings, study visits, etc. The beneficiaries are encouraged to find alternative ways to implement project activities if deemed necessary, e.g. through online meetings.
RYCO is ensuring adequate measures for its staff at the Head Office in Tirana but also at all the Local Branch Offices across the region to respond to the latest developments.
As the governments of the region continue with their efforts that have been effective in limiting the number of cases and slowing the spread of the virus, RYCO joins with its efforts to contain the virus and slow its spread in the region. Every effort, including individual ones, is providing our health systems and societies time to prepare and act accordingly.
We also use this opportunity to remind you that common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), to prevent infection spread individuals should include personal measures such as regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Moreover, you should avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
For more information on the latest developments, we recommend following the dedicated WHO’s webpage but also measures being put in place by the national authorities.