Photo/Illutration A Ground Self-Defense Force medical staff member shows the proper way to remove a face mask. (Provided by Defense Ministry)

The Ground Self-Defense Force is sharing lessons learned from managing hundreds of people infected with the novel coronavirus to help others searching for strategies to manage outbreaks.

Medics, nurses and other health care workers in the force compiled helpful, easy to adopt tactics in combating COVID-19, and published them in a manual.

The people involved in the project helped care for the hundreds of passengers infected with the coronavirus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship that had anchored off Yokohama Port and was placed in a two-week quarantine at the beginning of the crisis.

As not a single GSDF member became infected, local governments have been requesting help handling residents who may be infected.

Defense Minister Taro Kono said the absence of infections among the 4,900 or so SDF members who helped out on the cruise ship shows that the protective measures are reliable.

“I believe the release of the manual will be useful in preventing a further spread, even among residents as they go about their daily lives,” Kono said at an April 14 news conference.

The manual is now posted on the Defense Ministry’s website. It was created by members of the medical unit at the GSDF’s Eastern Army, based mainly in Tokyo.

The 37-page document comes with photos and illustrations showing how the medics protected themselves from infection.

One photo demonstrates how to properly remove a face mask. After disinfecting their fingers, one worker is shown removing a face mask while only holding the rubber portion that keeps it in place over the ears. It cautions against touching the mask itself.

The manual also recommends what to do when disinfectant is in short supply. While it cautions workers against coming in contact with sodium hypochlorite, or liquid bleach, it suggests using the solution for disinfecting household objects such as toilets. The manual recommends diluting the solution and wearing gloves while wiping down doorknobs, telephones and computer keyboards.

Staff at the Hotel Grand Hill Ichigaya in Tokyo already put some of the lessons into practice while accommodating potentially infected people awaiting the results of their polymerase chain reaction tests.

The hotel is operated by a Defense Ministry-affiliated organization.