Are you worried about the COVID-19 outbreak? Get to know how the disease spreads and use some simple yet effective measures to protect yourself from the disease and prevent its spread.
How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 is an infection caused by the newly discovered coronavirus. You may catch the virus from:
- Close contact with an infected person
- Contact with the droplets sprayed through an infected person’s sneeze or cough
- Touching a surface that is contaminated with the virus and then touching your nose, eyes or mouth
Are certain people at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19?
Yes, older adults and people with chronic medical conditions (such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease) are found to be at a higher risk of being very sick with the COVID-19 infection.
What is the current scenario of COVID-19 outbreak?
The World Health Organization has described the outbreak of COVID-19 as a controllable pandemic. As of 12th March 2020, COVID-19 has affected 118 countries with a total of 125,048 confirmed cases and a reported death rate of 3.69%.
In India, data from 13th March 2020 shows 75 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 17 are foreign nationals; three people have been cured while one death has been reported.
With the growing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, you may be wondering how to protect yourself and your loved ones from contracting this infection.
How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
The World Health Organization recommends the following simple measures against the COVID-19 outbreak:
- Practice hand hygiene regularly: Clean your hands thoroughly with either soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
- Keep a safe distance from individuals with symptoms of infection: Maintain a distance of at least 3 feet from any individual who is sneezing or coughing
- Follow safe greeting methods: You can either wave, nod or bow instead of shaking hands to greet someone to avoid the spread of COVID-19
- Avoid touching your face: Do not touch your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands
- Follow cough etiquettes: Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or a bent elbow while coughing or sneezing
- Seek timely medical care: Contact your doctor if you have cough, fever and difficulty breathing
- Stay informed: Keep yourself up to date on the development of the virus and advice provided by your healthcare authorities
If, in the past 14 days, you have visited an area or country where the virus is known to be spreading, follow the protective measures mentioned above. In addition, if you:
- Feel unwell with runny nose and headache – stay at home and avoid contact with others until you are better
- Develop cough, fever and breathing difficulty – seek immediate medical care
If you want to visit your doctor for a suspected COVID-19 infection, call in advance. It will help your doctor guide you to the right medical facility and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Instead of panicking due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases, you should focus on following the protective measures and sharing this new-found knowledge with your loved ones and community members to prevent further spread of the infection.
For any information on Coronavirus please visit the below helplines:
The Helpline Number for corona-virus : +91-11-23978046
The Helpline Numbers of States & Union Territories for corona-virus
The Helpline Email ID for corona-virus : ncov2019[at]gmail[dot]com
Guidelines to States/UTs for quarantine
- World Health Organization. Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19) [Internet]. [Updated 2020 Mar 9; cited 2020 Mar 13]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How COVID-19 spreads [Internet]. [Updated 2020 Mar 4; cited 2020 Mar 13]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People at risk for serious illness from COVID-19 [Internet]. [Updated 2020 Mar 10; cited 2020 Mar 13]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html.
- World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 52 [Internet]. [Updated 2020 Mar 12; cited 2020 Mar 13]. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/20200312-sitrep-52-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=e2bfc9c0_2.
- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Novel Corona Virus [Internet]. [Updated 2020 Mar 13; cited 2020 Mar 13]. Available from: http://www.mohfw.gov.in/.
- World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public [Internet]. [cited 2020 Mar 13]. Available from: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public.