BE SAFE: CORONAVIRUS ENTERS INDIA
In our mid-February issue, we covered the Coronavirus world update. At that time, it was making international headlines primarily in China and also in a few other countries. The cases in India were limited to 3 and it didn’t seem to be a big threat to India; maybe because India was being too optimistic because of its tropical climate. As we entered March, many Coronavirus cases started showing up. As we go to press, the count has already crossed 80 for confirmed cases while about 30,000 odd people are under observation for a possible case of Coronavirus.
There are a variety of solutions being undertaken to treat Coronavirus or keep it at bay. From packing some spices and keeping in pocket to eating garlic water every day to doing hawans, people are doing almost everything to take protection. There is also a hope that the virus will not sustain itself in higher temperatures. And therefore, Indians and especially the north Indians are hoping that the trouble for them would end soon as the mercury starts rising! But, most of these solutions are belief-oriented rather than result-oriented. The problem is that no one knows how the virus COVID-19 will respond to the above mix of things. There is no tried and tested formula to prevent it.
The good news is that the disease has a global average fatality rate of just about 3.4%. And there is more panic, than the actual problem, because it is highly contagious. And for that reason possibly, the masks and sanitisers are flying off shelves and they are being sold at obnoxiously high rates in the market (we have included a simple recipe for you to make sanitiser at home if you do not find it in the market). For this reason, the government, schools, and doctors, are all issuing advisories to the public to not panic.
Children First spoke to Dr. Sanjeev Sehgal (Senior Consultant, Paediatrics, Max Healthcare, Patparganj, New Delhi) about how you could ensure your safety considering you travel to school, activity classes and, frequently interact with everyone around you.
He said, “Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection and the best way you can avoid it is by not getting exposed to it”. He suggests the following measures to stay safe.
So what one needs to do is maintain a strict self-hygiene. Wash hands properly with soap again and again. Cover your cough. Use certified masks only if you are suffering from cough and cold or caring for someone affected. Avoid unnecessary travelling both domestic and international. Avoid crowded areas such as malls, hospitals, mass gatherings, as much as possible. Keep a tissue to touch surfaces like doorknobs, phones, when in a general area. Prefer our age-old tradition of ‘Namaste’ over handshakes and hugs. Prefer vegetarian or properly cooked non- vegetarian food. Eat healthy and drink plenty of fluids to build immunity. Spread awareness, not panic. And last but the most important, pray for ones infected and their families.