Coronavirus: Do’s and Don’ts for protection against COVID-19

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, also sanitise using alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

  • Avoid sharing personal hygiene items like towels, utensils and clothes.

  • Seek medical advice in case of fever, cough and if you experience difficulty in breathing
Coronavirus or COVID-19, which has been spreading quickly, has killed 3,203 people and infected over 93,160 in around 65 countries. The rate at which it is spreading shows that the virus could be closer than it appears.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronavirus is a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

With the deadly disease spreading quickly, here is the list of do’s and don’ts to protect yourself against coronavirus. The list has been compiled with the help of sources from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Indian Health Authorities.

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DO’s

  • Wash your hands frequently or keep a sanitiser handy
WHO recommends everyone to wash their hands frequently with soap and water to kill germs on hands which can make you fall sick. It also recommends keeping an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with oneself and thoroughly clean hands with it.

  • Maintain social distancing
Please don’t shake hands or hug someone who is ill. It is important to maintain a certain distance with people who are sick to protect yourself. When you shake hands or hug someone, the virus and bacteria on their body are transmitted to yours. WHO recommends maintaining at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance until the solution for the deadly virus is discovered.

“When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain viruses. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease,” according to WHO.
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  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with bare hands
Our hands touch many surfaces in our daily life, and the virus and bacteria are transmitted to our hands. Avoiding the contact of hands with eyes, nose and mouth restricts the virus from directly entering our body and making us fall sick.

  • Cover your nose and mouth while sneezing and coughing
Practise good sneezing and coughing habits by covering your nose and mouth with a handkerchief or a tissue to avoid spreading germs. Make sure you dispose off the tissue properly, to avoid others getting contaminated by that.

“By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19,” says the WHO.
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  • Seek medical advice in case of fever, cough and difficulty in breathing
Fever, cough, sneezing and difficulty in breathing are some of the common symptoms of coronavirus. Although the symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, it is highly recommended to consult your GP or a family doctor to take precautions at an early stage.

DON’Ts

  • Avoid sharing personal hygiene items
It is highly recommended not to share personal hygiene items like towels, soap and water bottles. Sharing personal things might transmit viruses and bacteria from one person to another and can make you fall sick.

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  • Keep travel plans to the minimum
The deadly virus has spread over 65 countries, and the recently discovered coronavirus patients in India had a travel history from Italy and Dubai. The Indian government ministry of health has issued a detailed travel advisory for international travelers, available here. It is highly recommended to follow the guideline to protect yourself from the deadly disease.

  • Taking medicine without consulting a practitioner
Although the symptoms of COVID-19 are as common as regular cold and cough, it is advisable to consult a medical practitioner and not to take medicines without proper guidance.

More information related to coronavirus is available on the WHO and ministry of health website.
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