Five tips on how to live with novel coronavirus

Five tips on how to live with novel coronavirus

New Delhi: After strictly implementing the lockdown measures, many countries like India are gradually easing restrictions and reopening their economies. However, with vaccine still months away, people need to live a new normal.

“Either we must change the virus, or we must change ourselves; changing the virus is going to take time...Meanwhile, we can change ourselves to face the pandemic,” Prof K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, told the India Science Wire.

Prof Raghavan shared five tips to ‘living with the virus’:-             

Wear a mask when you step out of houses

Recent studies have found that when a person speaks, about 1000 tiny droplets of saliva come out. If that person happens to be infected with novel coronavirus, then each of these droplets will carry thousands of germs. Large droplets will fall off the ground, usually within one-metre distance. However, the plum of tiny droplets can float in the air for a longer time, mainly if the area is not well ventilated. Many people who are infected by the virus do not show any symptoms. Therefore, they may not even be aware that they are affected. Wearing a mask protects not only us but others as well, if we are infected.

Practise vigilant hand hygiene

An analysis of 75,465 COVID-19 cases in China by a WHO-led study shows that novel coronavirus is primarily transmitted between people through respiratory droplets and contact routes. Thus, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted when one comes into direct contact with infected people or when we touch surfaces in the immediate environment or objects used by the infected person (e.g., door handle and washroom tap). Our normal urge is to reach our face. When we wash our hands thoroughly with soap for at least thirty seconds, the virus, if any, on our hands is destroyed.

Maintain social distance

Most likely, the infection happens through direct contact or inhaling the droplets shed by an infected person. Droplets in usual conditions travel about a metre from the infected person.  Keeping a distance of one metre from one another in markets, offices, and public transport would greatly help.

Test and tracking

The most effective way in containing the virus spread is to identify proximal contacts of infected persons and shift them to quarantine at the earliest. Only an infected person can transmit the virus to others or contaminate a surface and spread the virus. If most of the infected persons are identified, then controlling the transmission of the virus becomes easy.

 

Isolation

It’s vital that people who have been identified as positive cases should be isolated and extended proper medical attention. As they remain isolated, an infected person cannot spread the virus to others. The tentacles of the infection can be cut.

“If one can do this with high speed the last one and follow all the others, then we can have a semblance of a normal life while we wait to do something for drugs and vaccine. If we don’t do any of these things and if we slip up on any one of these, then we will have a problem,” said Prof. Raghavan.

ENDS

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