COVID-19: Tips to be safe
Coronavirus is a novel respiratory virus that originated from Wuhan, China and has already affected hundreds of countries across Asia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East since December 2019. As I write this, around 136,737 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed and around 5,092 reported deaths due to this viral disease. Some 590 cases of those infected by coronavirus and 10 deaths have been reported in the UK alone.
The World Health Organisation has declared this as a global ‘pandemic’ hence we need to understand the seriousness of the issue. It is a new virus, there is a lack of immunity in the population at large leading to extensive widespread of the disease. The common symptoms of this disease are cough, high temperature and in some severe cases shortness of breath. The risk of severe disease and death due to coronavirus is more in elderly people with underlying health risk conditions and comparatively rare amongst the population under the age of 25.
Some little precautionary steps can help us mark ourselves safe in this critical situation. We’ve compiled a few tips for you to stay safe as COVID-19 spreads fast:
- The best way to keep yourself safe is to take all the precautions you usually take during a regular flu season. So this leads us to our first tip- maintain respiratory hygiene. Cover your mouth with a tissue or bent elbow whenever you cough or sneeze and dispose of such tissue immediately.
- Keep at least a meter distance from people who show symptoms of fever, coughing, sneezing, etc.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Stay home and take rest if you find any symptoms of coughing, flu or fever in yourself. Take medical care in advance.
- Avoid personal contact while greeting another person.
- Clean the surfaces and devices you touch frequently.
- Be careful while touching things on busy airports, stations or in other public transport systems. Make sure you clean your hands before touching your mouth, nose or eyes after traveling in public transport or after coming from any crowded place.
- Wear masks if you are coughing, sneezing or feeling feverish.
- Clean your hands with a hand sanitizer before touching your mouth, nose or face.
- Try to avoid going to overcrowded places. In fact, stay indoors as much as possible. You can also consider working from home if circumstances so permit.
These simple things can help you stay safe from the attack of coronavirus. If each one of us takes small efforts to maintain the best of hygiene and deal with this situation proactively, then we can help in bringing the situation under control. A few precautions, some conscious little efforts and you and people around you can be marked safe.
Let’s end on a good note, which is that new cases in Hubei (the place from where the outbreak started) fell to single digits today for the first time. And now that’s definitely a good indicator.
In the other news, the UK government met during lunchtime at around 1.15 pm yesterday. Boris Johnson chaired this emergency Cobra meeting which concluded on moving towards the “delay’ phase to tackle this outbreak, implying social distancing through measures like the closure of schools, home working, avoid large scale gatherings. Though the Prime Minister did not reveal any plans to close schools until now, he did advise people with symptoms, no matter how mild, to stay at home for seven days. Furthermore, a ban on major public events such as sporting fixtures is being considered.