The novel coronavirus has spread like wildfire around the globe ever since its inception. While the nation is tackling the menace by implementing measures like enforcing a lockdown (which has extended till May 3rd, 2020), ensuring the running of essential services and increasing the supply of protective gear, there are certain steps you can take from home to keep the virus in check and prevent its spread.
1. Know the symptoms
The first step in tackling coronavirus is to know and recognize its symptoms. According to the World Health Organization, the symptoms of coronavirus fall into two categories – mild and severe. Mild symptoms include a runny nose and headache. Severe symptoms include prolonged dry cough, sore throat, fever and difficulty in breathing. Furthermore, age is not a bar for contracting the virus, however, people in the older age bracket and those suffering from major ailments are naturally more exposed to the virus.
2. Follow these basic protective measures
Since there is no medication or vaccine to eradicate coronavirus, these basic protective measures are being practiced globally and are instrumental in preventing the virus from spreading:
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- Wash your hands with soap, liquid hand wash and alcohol based sanitizer. Since the virus can accumulate on your hands, it is important to wash your hands at regular intervals to eliminate the risk of contraction.
- Cover your mouth with your hand or elbow whilst sneezing or coughing. Since saliva droplets can contain and transmit the coronavirus, the chances of contraction can increase.
- Avoid touching your face with your hands. The unconscious use of hands can put it into contact with several surfaces that in turn can transmit the virus from your hands to your face, and ultimately to your system.
- Ideally, mass gatherings should be avoided but if you need to step out, wear a mask and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from the person next to you. Maintain the same distance from elderly people residing at your home, to minimize the risk of infecting them.
- Maintain a balanced and healthy diet to increase your immunity levels. An adequate amount of sleep and a home work out can also boost your immunity.
3. The coronavirus test
Tests for coronavirus are being carried out around the clock by the country’s hospitals and health professionals. They are conducted in government authorized laboratories and hospitals. Since coronavirus is a respiratory disease, tests include the collection of swabs from a patient’s throat or nose for the purpose of nasopharyngeal sampling. Upon collection, the samples are then sent out for testing and drawing up a diagnosis.
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If you experience mild symptoms, the advisable thing to do would be to stay home, since people experiencing such symptoms can recover quickly. If you experience severe symptoms, visit your nearby health care center immediately. Since the testing procedure is costly and time consuming, it would be wise to practice the “Prevention is better than cure” principle amidst the current scenario.