Coronavirus / COVID-19 is a respiratory illness spread by members of the coronavirus family. This virus has never been encountered before. It is believed that like other coronaviruses, this virus also came from animals in the city of Wuhan. People affected by this disease, develop symptoms similar to pneumonia. They suffer from mild to high fever, dry coughs and breathing difficulties. In extreme cases, COVID-19 results in failure of lungs.
Coronavirus / COVID-19 news are everywhere from mainstream media to social media. World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Coronavirus / COVID-19 a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan city of COVID-19 has its epicenter in Europe with Italy reporting the highest number of COVID-19 cases, followed by Spain. Germany, France, the UK, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are the most affected countries. The number of Coronavirus / COVID-19 cases is also increasing day by day. At present, reported cases in Pakistan are more than 200. The majority of the patients have a travel history of traveling from Iran and Saudi Arabia.
What can be done?
Border enclosure by different countries is a good step to avoid an influx of Coronavirus / COVID-19 patients from other countries. What do you think, is this enough to keep you safe getting infected by the disease….simply NO!!! It is a well-known fact by now that antibiotics are of no use against this virus. Similarly, antiviral drugs used for the treatment of flu will not work. It is your immune system that can help you to fight Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic. Stronger the immunity of a person faster will be the recovery. Many of those who have died were already in poor health with week immunity.
We as responsible citizens of the state can play our part in adopting measures that can at least help to slow down its spread. According to public health professionals, ‘social distancing’ can be very helpful to prevent the transfer of the virus from an infected person to the normal one. People need to stay in their homes and limit their unnecessary movement outside in public places. Before China imposed a ban on all public gatherings, most citizens were asked to self-quarantine, heavily affected region was locked down, and the virus was spreading in exponential fashion. Once the government imposed social distancing, the number of new cases leveled off. Similar steps are being taken in Pakistan especially in Sindh. Let’s hope this results in controlling this pandemic.
Furthermore, when going out even in a group of 2-3 people, wear a mask. Masks are effective at capturing droplets, which is a main transmission route of coronavirus, and some studies have estimated a roughly fivefold protection versus no barrier alone. If you are likely to be in close contact with someone infected, a mask cuts the chance of the disease being passed on. If you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, or have been diagnosed, wearing a mask can also protect others. So masks are crucial for the health and social care workers looking after patients and are also recommended for family members who need to care for someone who is a Coronavirus / COVID-19 suspect. Viruses can also be spread through droplets landing on surfaces such as seats on buses or trains or desks in school. However, whether this is the main transmission route depends on how long viruses survive on surfaces; this can vary from hours to months.
Washing your hands with soap or sanitizer after every contact can help to get rid of the virus. Don’t forget to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the bin and wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue to hand,cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than your hands. Go to the doctor, if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and share your travel history with healthcare providers.
There is a myth around coronavirus that affects elderly people the most. No, this is not true. People who have an underlying health condition, having week immunity will become critically ill from Coronavirus / Covid-19. There are other groups that are at risk of getting ill for example health workers (because of higher exposure to the virus).
Let’s fight it together. Let’s be responsible citizens. By taking necessary precautionary measures, let’s just not save our lives but also the lives of the people around us.
by: Abeer Arshad
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