DAN Europe President and founder Alessandro Marroni addressed the current COVID-19 crisis in a message that went out to all DAN members
In these difficult days, our international diving community is facing big challenges.
COVID-19 is forcing us to keep our underwater exploration instinct quiet, and to limit interactions with our fellow dive buddies. It’s causing instability for all those who made diving their profession and source of income.
The epidemiological situation is constantly evolving. Nobody can predict how long this will last in Europe and the rest of the world. However, we’ve always believed in the power of positive, pro-active behaviour. We hear many people say ‘there is nothing we can do’. Is it true?
We believe everybody can do their part to make things better. How? Strictly following local laws and expert recommendations, to start with, as well as taking good care of your health. Here are some guidelines:
- Wash your hands frequently
- Maintain social distancing
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
- Practice respiratory hygiene
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
- Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider
As divers, we are very familiar with concepts like risk management and mitigation. Even more so, we can play an important role in fighting this common enemy. DAN members are true ambassadors of safety and good health habits. Now it’s time to practice what we’ve learned – manage risks, be prudent and attentive, respect life and the environment around us!
Important updates about our services
Here at DAN Europe, we implemented emergency measures to make sure we keep providing vital medical assistance services to all DAN members around the world, while ensuring a safe work environment for our staff, shifting most of them to smart-working.
We remind you of a couple of important addresses:
- For information regarding your membership plan and insurance benefits: email@example.com
- For non-urgent medical advice: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Should you experience any difficulty in reaching our Emergency Line or Medical Services via phone, please contact us 24/7 at: email@example.com
Regarding travel – if you decide to travel against the guidelines issued by your government, you are putting yourself at excessive risk and DAN Europe's insurance may not cover claims caused by COVID-19. Though we cannot ensure coverage of specialised medical care or repatriation expenses, we will always guarantee coverage of the first medical assessment to ensure the stabilisation of the patient.
On the other hand, if you have travelled abroad before your government issued restrictive measures, cover stays active unless your government provides early repatriation from the high-risk area, which you are expected to accept. In any case, we invite you to contact the relevant authorities and follow their advice on safety procedures. Please also remember that DAN provides medical insurance, and does not cover trip cancellation.
Time to react
Have more time at home? Focus on continuing education – read, study and learn more. Dream about future adventures in beautiful dive spots around the world – check out our Why We Do It videos (wwdi.daneurope.org) to be inspired! DAN is – and will always be – by your side.
Prevention recommendations for our diving community
In relation to the COVID-19 outbreak, questions have arisen in the dive community about disease transmission when using rental equipment.
With the threat of coronavirus on everyone's minds, divers want to know what precautions are being taken against the spread of disease. Preliminary information suggests that the new coronavirus may survive a few hours on surfaces. In any case, properly sanitising equipment is paramount, in particular:
- Second stage / regulator mouthpiece
- BCD oral inflator
- The inside of your mask
Keep the following in mind:
- Household cleaners are as effective against COVID-19 as they are against the common cold and flu viruses. In this regard, we recommend the use of a solution of one per cent aqueous solution of sodium hypochlorite (bleach) with an application time of > 15 minutes, taking care the solution reaches every part (total immersion). Be sure to use product following the manufacturer's instructions and rinse with fresh water.
- For common surfaces (tables, handles, switches, chairs, etc.) we recommend using only products approved for surface disinfection, such as sprays, wipes or suitable disinfectants.
- Products that are commonly used to clean dive gear but are ineffective against coronavirus include antibacterial and chlorhexidine mouthwashes or sprays.
- There is no evidence that application of hot soapy water is effective with regard to disinfection, except at temperatures > 40°C and for application times > 20 minutes (e.g. machine wash).
- The use of approved surface disinfection products, such as sprays, wipes, etc, with procedures other than total immersion in a sodium hypochlorite solution as indicated above, does not guarantee disinfection of diving equipment.
This is a constantly evolving situation – all divers should check out the News page on www.daneurope.org for regular updates