The deadly Coronavirus which has taken more than 3000 lives and infected 80000 people around the world has finally come knocking on our doorstep. India, a relatively safer country until now, is now counting at least 30 confirmed cases. With Delhi being the epicentre of most of these cases, it becomes very important that we take all the measures necessary to protect ourselves and others. The first step in this direction is getting the correct information about what the coronavirus exactly is? How does it spread? What is the government doing to combat this threat? And most importantly, what can you do to stay safe?
Let’s try and find out.
According to the WHO-
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
Now, there is no concrete theory about how this virus came to infect humans. Covid-19 is a betacoronavirus and like it’s predecessors SARS and MERS, it has its origin in bats. Given it’s concentration in Wuhan, it is suspected to have originated from the region’s live seafood and animal markets.
But the major cause for its rapid spread has been person to person. Later investigations revealed that this might be the case, as all patients did not have exposure to animal markets.
So, the most common way the virus spreads is via small droplets released when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can directly infect a person if it lands on their face or clothes, and later also gets transferred to the eyes, nose or the mouth too
. It can even survive on various surfaces for hours to even days depending on the surface. So, if you touch the surface and then touch your face, you can get infected.
It has also been found that coronavirus can remain dormant for upto two weeks without showing any signs of infection. Thus it becomes critical to keep a close eye on your body. The usual symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath which can often feel like seasonal flu. In any case, it is essential that you see a doctor if you develop any of these symptoms.
At the time of filming of the video, the total count of the number of patients is 30 in India. To combat the spread of this further, the government and the respective authorities are taking various steps to ensure that the virus is contained.
India has started screening all passengers coming to India via International flights, instead of just from a few countries as was the case just a few days ago. Special medical staff and quarantine procedures are also being put into place. All the states have been put on high alert, especially the ones sharing their borders with other countries such as Uttarakhand and the coastal areas.
The Delhi Government has also announced the creation of a state task force to tackle the outbreak, and prevent the black marketing of medical supplies like sanitisers and masks.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan also said that all the states with confirmed cases have been asked to prepare more isolation facilities and to not panic.
The government is also planning to involve private hospitals in the fight against coronavirus.
Now, apart from all this, there are a few things that the governments, especially in Delhi, can do to curb the spread-
Shutting down schools for a while so that small children don’t get exposed to probable contamination. Young people are at a greater risk and going to school involves a lot of public transportation.
The government can direct companies with their offices in Delhi-NCR to offer more work from home options to their employees to avoid heavily burdened Metro and Bus services. Such areas are hotspots for the spread of the virus.
The government and medical facilities should make sure they have enough medical supplies such as masks, medicines and isolation facilities in case the situation gets worse. Hoarding of such supplies by middlemen should be strongly opposed.
The authorities are doing and will continue to do so but it will not be successful if we as people do not take individual responsibility. We have been updating our viewers and followers on various steps to take via our instagram posts which tell you the do’s and don’ts for combating this apparent pandemic. Please go through our posts to get a detailed understanding of how to protect yourself.
But to summarise here are a few things to follow-
Washing your hands. Your hands are in constant contact with various surfaces all day long. Then, you often touch your face with the same hands. This can transfer the virus to you via your eyes, mouth, and eyes. so , avoid touching your face and regularly wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds.
Carry a hand sanitiser with you. Any sanitiser with a 60% alcohol content will do the trick. If you are in a place where you can’t wash your hands; use a sanitiser.
Avoid unnecessary travel. If you can avoid travelling via public means; even cabs and taxis; please do that. Stay indoors as much as possible and keep your surroundings clean.
If you feel you are falling sick or showing any symptoms, do not delay going to a hospital and seek medical help.
Using a mask is essential for anybody who is sick. A healthy person wearing a mask is not as effective as a sick person wearing it because that contains the spread of droplets.
Lastly, sanitise things that you use if you feel they have been out in public. Your cellphone is the top priority here. We use our phones everywhere and touch them constantly. It is very important that we sanitise something we use so frequently.
In the past week, new cases in China, that has the highest number of infected patients in the world, have come down. But, on the other end, it is spreading to newer areas just as fast.
With no vaccine or medicine to cure this virus, prevention is our best weapon. Take care of yourself and the people around you. Keep a close watch on the news and the latest developments. Most importantly, do not panic because that might end up impeding the process of resolving this issue for all of us.
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