Basic Preventive Measures against COVID-19
What is COVID-19 and CoronaVirus?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called CoronaVirus. As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus grows day by day, the virus's potentially invisible presence has led many to wonder what they should do if they believe they've been exposed. Not everyone who is exposed to the virus will catch it, and some people who are infected will have only minor or no symptoms. On average, symptoms like fever, cough, or shortness of breath tend to develop five to six days after exposure.
How it spreads?
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
How can we stay away from CoronaVirus?
Wash your hands frequently: Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain Social Distancing
Social Distancing is a term coined for a scenario when one should avoid going to social gatherings. Even if you do, maintain at least 2 metres (6 feets) distance between yourself and anyone (wherever and whenever possible).
Why? Problem with this virus is, it does not show symptoms instantaneously. Hence the infected person would not know for few days that he or she is the carrier of the virus. So in a scenario where a pandemic is spreading through socializing, everyone has to consider that they maybe infected and infect others OR they might not be infected right now but may get infected by going out. Hence avoid social gathering.
Even if you have to go to a public place, avoid distances from others so that virus can not transfer from others to you or from you to others. When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
Stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider
Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow the advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.