COVID-19 is becoming the worst nightmare of 2020. Its first outbreak was centered in city of Wuhan in Hubei province, China in November 2019. Within last 5 months duration it is rapidly extended over 150+ nations accounting for 179,650 confirmed victims and 7,068 deaths worldwide (as of 16th March 2020). The rising daily statistics has led WHO to declare COVID-19 spread as a global pandemic.
Although Sri Lanka managed to stay safe over the past few months, at present we have 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Owing to the mass awareness programs conducted by media organizations along with the health officials most of our citizens are informed. But still, as the number of cases keeps popping up, it is quite evident that we need to stress on the precautionary measures again and again. This brief write-up will highlight few such measures.
Starting with the very basic question what is COVID-19?
“COVID – 19” stands for Corona Virus Disease, identified in 2019. The causative agent of this disease is a newly identified strain in the large family of Coronaviruses (CoV). It is zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people and highly contagious.
Identified pathways of virus circulation include
- Close association with infected person.
- Exposure to fluid droplets resulted from sneezing or coughing of an infected person.
- Physical contact with a contaminated surface.
After getting into a person virus can stay inside the body without showing any symptoms. Therefore, its highly probable for that person to act as a vector and pass the virus during 14 days period.
Considering the prevailing situation there are seven simple step you could practice as basic precautionary measures.
Step 1: Washing Hands
It is prescribed to wash hands for a minimal duration of 20 seconds using soap or hand sanitizer containing at least 60% of alcohol to prevent possible contamination.
Step 2: Face
Eyes, nose and mouth can act as the main windows of virus entry. Touching these sensitive routes with contaminated hands can facilitate the virus transmission.
(Virus in contact with skin (dead epidermal layer) will not be able to cause the disease unless it gets into a living tissue)
Step 3: Use of Disinfectants
Pay special attention to daily equipments/utensils. Use disinfecting liquids/sprays to clean possible contaminating surfaces regularly.
Step 4: Avoid or minimize physical contacts
Avoid direct physical contacts such as hand shaking, hugging and loitering in crowded places as much as possible. Make it a mandatory habit to wash hands after touching surfaces such as doorknobs, switches etc.
Step 5: Self care
Whenever pathogenic substance gets into your body, your immune system fights to eliminate it. Therefore, maintaining a healthy immune system is crucial. Adequate sleep, nutritional diet, exercises and mental well-being will boost your immune system and make it healthy and strong.
Step 6: Travelling
If you have engaged in international travelling recently be mindful and adhere to prevailing quarantine measures to protect yourself and people around you. Be responsible as you might be a potential vector transmitting the infection.
Step 7: Immediate medical treatments
Seek immediate medical treatments if you have below mentioned symptoms. Common symptoms of the infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties
If you are diagnosed with positive symptoms do not PANIC. COVID-19 has 92% of recovered incidents and receiving medical care without a delay can speed up your recovery process.
Emergency hotline for COVID-19 related information -117
In many other countries COVID-19 indicates an exponential growth of detected victims with time. Therefore, a crucial time period lies ahead Sri Lanka where all citizens need to be vigilant and act responsibly. Panicking, overreacting and negligence can only worsen the prevailing situation. Your wise decisions and behavior will aid to contain the risk within controlled limits. Let’s be mindful and united to defeat COVID-19
Faculty Information Portal: https://science.cmb.ac.lk/news/covid-19-outbreak/
Graphics from https://www.powtoon.com/
Image Courtesy : https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2020/03/16/coronavirus-outbreak-round-the-clock-updates/