On 11 February 2020, the World Health Organization officially named the new coronavirus disease COVID-19 (short form for Coronavirus Disease).
The most probable originating place of the coronavirus is a market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. The market is known for its trade of bats, snakes, fishes and other animals. The virus was first transmitted from animals to humans, which was then transmitted from person to person.
How to keep safe from the coronavirus :
On March 11th, the WHO Director-General characterised the covid-19 as a pandemic. So how do we keep us safe from coronavirus disease? There is a campaign “Protect yourself and others” that helps us on how to apply basic hygiene and what we should do if we experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, a cough and high temperature.
- How novel Coronavirus Spreads:
Till now we know that the coronavirus mainly spreads three ways:
Close and prolonged contact: If a person stands closer than 2 meters to a person who has contracted the illness for more than 15 minutes.
Droplet contamination: Coronavirus can spread if a contracted person sneezes or coughs, and the droplets are directly transferred to another person’s mouth, nose or eyes.
Hand contact: Infectious droplets from the hands can reach the mouth, nose or eyes and infect a person.
Also, viruses could survive for a couple of hours in tiny droplets on surfaces, however, it is not clear whether it’s possible to contract coronavirus from these surfaces.
Most vulnerable people:
The coronavirus has turned out to be most lethal to people aged 65 and over, and for people with previous medical conditions. People with the following pre-existing conditions are particularly at risk:
- Chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs).
- Cardiovascular diseases.
- Diseases that weaken the immune system.
- Recipients of therapy that weakens the immune system.
- How we protect ourselves:
Wash Hands Thoroughly:
Washing our hands has a significant role in maintaining proper hygiene. We can protect ourselves by maintaining essential hygiene of the hands. We should wash our hands as frequently as we can. Some of the most important instances are listed below:
- Before preparing food
- Before eating and serving
- After sneezing or coughing
- After blowing our nose
- After returning home
- After using public transport
- After visiting patients or sick people and handling their belongings
- Before and after putting on contact lenses
- After removing hygiene masks
- After using a restroom
- After changing a child’s diaper or assisting them to the bathroom
- After handling waste
- How Should We Wash our Hands?
Only soap is not enough to make our hands free or safe from coronavirus. To make our hands safe, use soap, rub, rinse and dry properly.
- Wet your hands under running water.
- Soap up your hands with liquid soap if possible.
- Rub both hands until foam forms and continue rubbing the back of the hands, between the fingers, under the fingernails and including the wrists.
- Rinse both hands well under running water.
- Dry them with a paper towel.
- If you are not near a bathroom, hand sanitiser that contains alcohol is the next best option.
- It is best to use liquid soap and keep your fingers ring or ornaments free. If you wear a ring, take it off and wash and dry it well before you wash hands.
- Take proper care of the skin. Damaged skin can form micro nests for viruses. Use a moisturiser for your skin.
- Keep your fingernails short and clean. Don’t let the nails collect dirt underneath.
Cover Your Cough or Sneeze.
Like other respiratory viruses, the bodily fluids that are extracted from sneezing, spitting or coughing also spreads the coronavirus. We should observe the following rules to prevent the virus from spreading through sneezing or coughing:
- Hold a paper tissue in front of your nose when you sneeze.
- Hold a paper tissue in front of your mouth when you cough.
- If a tissue is not available, use the crook of your arm instead of the hands.
- If you have to use your hands, wash them thoroughly with soap as soon as possible.
- Use a tissue when blowing your nose.
- Use a tissue when you spit.
- Wash hands every time you use a tissue for coughing or sneezing.
- Use a tissue only once then dispose of it in a suitable place.
Stay Home if you Have a High Fever and Cough:
- If you feel symptoms of illness like breathing difficulties, cough and fever, stay home.
- Avoid going out in public.
- Avoid contact with people.
- Get in touch with healthcare facilities or doctors, but call first before you visit.
Call Before Going to the Doctors or Emergency Department:
If you are feeling mild symptoms such as fever and cough, you don’t need to call your doctor or health facilities. Their capacities are limited. And if you are one of the most vulnerable or the symptoms of illness get worse (high fever, difficulty breathing or difficulty breathing), call a doctor or health care provider.
Recommendation for Office Space:
The most vulnerable people to the coronavirus are people aged 65 and over and people with existing medical conditions. They need to be alert and have special protection. The following recommendations should be followed by all employees including those who are particularly at risk.
- Personal hygiene measures such as regular hand washing should be practised by everyone. Appropriate facilities should be available in the workplace.
- Employees should be able to keep each other at a safe distance; for example, spatial adjustments, home office, office splitting (divide the workforce into home working and on location) etc.
- Where possible, working from home should be allowed and enabled.
Recommendations for Employers:
- Employers should be lenient with regard to medical certificates unless the absence period is 5 days or more. This will relieve some pressure on doctors and the health system.
- Employers should inform their employees about personal and work-related protective measures.
- Employers should suggest their employees refrain from public transport at peak times if at all possible.
- Employers should allow their employees to work flexible hours and if they can arrange, work from home.
Recommendations for Travellers:
All regions of the world are at risk of contracting the coronavirus. Almost every country is adopting preventive measures such as border closings or nationwide emergency protocols. Travellers are expected to face restrictions when travelling internationally. Follow the hygiene methods and suggestions mentioned in this blog when you travel, to ensure maximum coronavirus infection prevention.
Self-quarantine and Self-isolation:
To prevent coronavirus from rampant spreading, we should act responsibly. We should self-isolate if we are feeling sick and self-quarantine if we come into close contact with a person suffering from the coronavirus because the virus is contagious even before the person shows symptoms.
- If you have a cough or high temperature, which are also symptoms of coronavirus disease, stay at home. Try to avoid human contact as much as possible.
- Stay home for 24 hours after the symptoms subside, just to be sure.
- If, unfortunately, you came to close contact with someone who has been confirmed a victim of the new coronavirus, stay home for 5 days after the day the person was confirmed.
- Avoid human contact as much as possible.
The government is calling on every citizen to do their part to tackle the spread of the coronavirus. Reducing social contact to a minimum is the priority. People are encouraged to follow protective measures and personal hygiene to protect our society.