Armour up for COVID-19!


With the current nationwide lockdown and the incessant forward messages we receive on Whatsapp, it seems like all everyone is talking about is the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). During a health crisis like this, knowing the facts is key to protecting our loved ones and ourselves from the disease. Sadly, there is a lot of misinformation that is being circulated on social media platforms that leaves people scared and unprotected.

 

Declared as a global Pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) as of 11th March 2020, this disease has claimed over 16,362 lives and affected over 3,75,498 people in 195 countries, over a period of 3 months, with 519 cases from India, as on March 24th, 2020 

 

This pandemic has evoked two kinds of extreme responses from people: Either they go into panic mode, succumbing to false rumours that are spreading through various media, or they adopt an indifferent, “It won’t happen to me” kind of mindset and continue with their lives, in utmost normalcy.

 

Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. Owing to the highly contagious characteristic of this disease and the current lack of a specific vaccine or cure, it is vital to educate oneself with as much reliable information as possible and adhere to the protocols set up by one’s government. Below are some guidelines to take care of your health and protect others you are in contact with:

Wash your hands frequently

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with warm water and soap solution; this remains the golden rule to maintain hand hygiene; it has proved to be the best and most consistent way of preventing the spread of the coronavirus. A practical alternative is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser (with atleast 60% alcohol content) when soap and water are not available. Both of the above solutions will deem fully effective only when the hand rubbing is done for a minimum of 20-30 seconds for a hand sanitiser and 40-60 seconds for soap and water.

Maintain social distancing

Our best bet to prevent this pandemic from spreading is focusing on ways to curb its transmission. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by practicing social / physical distancing. Social distancing is a physical barrier between individuals that is created by maintaining a distance of about 1 metre (3 feet) between them. This measure will ensure that there is no possible transfer of liquid droplets from the nose or the mouth of the infected person to the others around, when he/she coughs or sneezes. With the current lockdown, our Government has limited face-to-face interactions to a large extent. Let us also individually take the necessary precautions to curb the transmission of this fatal and contagious disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

We are prone to infecting ourselves with disease, by spreading the bacteria and viruses we pick up with our hands when we touch our surrounding environment or even other people. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to our eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter our body and make us sick. This is why health authorities have now warned against touching our faces in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.

Practice respiratory hygiene

Respiratory hygiene or cough etiquette is in general recommended for people with respiratory ailments by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, but in times like these, it is advisable for every individual to follow the stated measures as follows: Always cover your mouth with a bent elbow or tissue and not your palms when you sneeze or cough. Tissues must be safely disposed immediately after use and hand wash routines must be followed shortly after. Handkerchiefs are to be avoided as they become a breeding ground for virus and bacteria.

 

By following the above stated measures, you can protect yourself and the people around you from the spread of the virus.

 

If you or your loved one(s) are experiencing symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, immediately isolate the concerned member from other family members and seek medical attention from your local health authority. You can call on your respective state helpline number or the 24x7 National helpline number 1075 (Toll free) | 011-23978046 provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Please follow the instructions of National and local authorities, as they will have the most up–to-date information on the situation in your area. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of virus.

 

Overall it is very important to take care of your mental health by exercising daily, keeping your surroundings clean, keeping your mind occupied with hobbies, staying informed and adhering to the protocols set up by your respective government, as is a necessity in these times of uncertainty like this.

 

World Vision is combating the COVID-19 pandemic by promoting preventive measures, supporting health systems and supporting children made vulnerable by this global health crisis. Our global team is promoting preventive behaviours on our social media platforms; providing essential materials, masks and hand-washing supplies to those in need and assisting medical facilities with supplies, transportation and personal protection equipment (PPE). As a child focused NGO we are making sure that children’s health and nutritional needs are met, remote education is made available wherever possible; and families are provided with livelihood to sustain during these trying times.

 

Please help us fight misinformation about COVID-19 by getting your facts from reliable sources like WHO, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; these organisations work around the clock with global health experts to provide accurate information to the world. Share this information with your family, friends and colleagues to help ensure people have the right facts about COVID-19 and can protect their health.

 

Stay calm, stay safe and stay informed!

 

The content of this article has been adapted from WHO’s webpage on ‘Advice for public’ (https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public). 

  

You can also support World Vision India's efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Please click the link below to donate now  https://www.worldvision.in/WaysToGive/emergency-relief.aspx

 

 

 

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