The pandemic of Coronavirus has been affecting almost every major country in the world for the last two months. Unfortunately, the fatal virus has also made its way in India and as of 20th March 2020 (Friday), the number of cases tested COVID-19 positive has crosses 200. These cases include 32 foreign nationals with four deaths, reported from the states of Karnataka, Delhi, Punjab, and Maharashtra.
These are certainly challenging times and every single citizen needs to be educated about the problem, its causes, and its adverse effects. Looking at this alarming situation, Chitiz Agarwal, the Founder, and CEO of Techila Global Services answer a few important questions regarding the pandemic and advises citizens to prevent themselves from Coronavirus.
What Exactly Is Coronavirus?
The virus that is currently wreaking havoc across the world is named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This virus has been found to be cause for an outbreak of the disease in China since 2019, due to which the disease is called Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Coronavirus is essentially a family of viruses that cause illnesses in the affected patients such as common cold, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). With every major country in the world facing the brunt of COVID-19, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared it as a pandemic since March 2020.
How Does Coronavirus Spread?
Coronavirus essentially spreads by the respiratory droplets entering into the air when an affected person coughs. Once these droplets settle on another person’s body or surface later touched by another person, the virus can spread from one individual to another. However, it is still unclear as to how contagious the virus really is.
What Are The Symptoms Of COVID-19?
The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath and their severity depends on the effect the virus has had on the patient. However, it is important to understand that the symptoms may take up to 14 days to show after the patient has been affected by Coronavirus.
Is It Possible To Cure COVID-19?
As of now, no vaccine has been discovered for treating Coronavirus disease in 2019. Also, it is highly recommended for the patients not to use any normal antiviral medication to treat COVID-19. However, medical experts can help the patients in relieving the symptoms through exclusive medication.
What Should One Do To Protect Themselves From The Diseases?
Here are some of the major preventive measures one should take to avoid being vulnerable to Coronavirus:
Avoid Frequenting Public Places
As mentioned earlier, Coronavirus spreads from respiratory particles releases by an affected individual in the air. It is therefore advisable not to frequent public places. Avoid going to malls, cinema halls, crowded markets or any mass gatherings where you might encounter a large number of people.
Avoid Close Contacts With The Affected
It is very important to maintain a safe distance of at least six feet from an individual affected by the virus or an individual showing symptoms. In case you happen to come in any contact with them, it is advisable to wash your hands with soaps on an immediate basis.
Washing Your Hands Frequently
One of the most basic yet most important preventive measures is to wash your hands as frequently as possible. Whenever you return home or any other location from outside, it is advisable to thoroughly wash your hands with soap for a good twenty seconds. It is also advisable to keep a hand sanitizer having at least 60% alcohol with you at any point in time. Always be alert and clean your hands by washing or sanitizing them whenever you use a shared device or happen to touch a dirty surface.
Having adequate supplies of sanitizers, soaps and wet wipes in workplaces is also extremely necessary. If you are not into self-quarantine yet and are going to work, always make sure you keep your surroundings clean, wash your hands frequently and advise your co-workers to do the same.
Cover Your Mouth
This is a preventive measure that can easily be overlooked but is highly important to follow. It is very important for anyone (whether you are infected or not) to cover your mouth and nose while sneezing. Always keep a tissue with you, use it while sneezing and immediately throw it in a dustbin once you are done.
Avoid Touching Your Mouth, Nose or Eyes
Areas like your mouth, nose, and eyes can serve as gateways for the virus to enter your body. Whenever you touch a surface that is not clean or if your hands are dirty, avoid touching these parts of your body. Wash your hands immediately and clean them before doing so.
Keep Your Surroundings Clean
It is very important to keep your surroundings clean to prevent the spread of the virus. When you are home, make sure the couch, refrigerator, microwave, television, and all other surfaces are cleaned with a disinfectant on a periodic basis to keep them clean and germ-free. Always throw all your trash in a dustbin and get the dustbin cleaned regularly.
When it comes to keeping the surroundings clean, it is equally important for one to maintain cleanliness at their workplaces. Make sure all the desks, chairs, desktops, keyboards, door handles, and windows are disinfected and cleaned regularly. Make sure you or your peers do not litter and throw all the waste in the dustbins. It is also important for the authorities to make sure that the bathroom is cleaned regularly and office premises are kept hygienic.
Avoid Eating Uncooked Meat
There is a high possibility that an animal carries harmful respiratory particles causing COVID-19. It is therefore highly advisable to abstain from eating raw meat or organs of animals that are uncooked. Make sure the meat is washed and properly cooked before consuming it.
Avoid Contacts With Stray Animals
You never really know where a stray animal has been and it is advisable not to touch them when you happen to be at a crowded place. It is also important to avoid contact with the surfaces touched by these animals and washing your hands immediately if you happen to touch them accidentally.
What Should One Do If They Are (Or Think They Are) Affected By COVID-19?
If You Are Experiencing COVID-19 Symptoms
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms for some time but are not diagnosed with the disease, it is advisable to take the following steps:
1. Avoid going out of your home unless it is absolutely necessary.
2. Work from home.
3. Avoid using any form of public transportation
4. Use a different bathroom from your family if possible.
5. Wear a mask whenever you are around people.
6. Keep yourself in isolation from pets or other members of the family until the symptoms persist.
7. Do not share dishes, glasses, toiletries or bedding with other members of the family.
8. Get yourself treated in case the symptoms get worse.
If The Symptoms Worsen And You Feel You Might Have Been Affected By The Virus
If the symptoms you have been experiencing worsen and you are almost certain that you might have been affected by Coronavirus, take the following steps on an immediate basis:
1. Contact your doctor immediately and inform them about your condition.
2. Inform your doctor about your recent travel history and let them know if you happened to have traveled to the regions severely affected by the virus.
3. Inform your doctor whether you came in contact with an individual affected with COVID-19.
4. Avoid visiting your doctor without talking about an appointment so that they can make proper arrangements on the premises to avoid the virus from spreading.
The world is certainly going through a tough time with new COVID-19 cases coming up every single day. It is more important now than ever to respond to the warning bell and start taking preventive measures before it is too late.