The impact of COVID-19 has been quite significant as the whole world has come united to fight against the virus. The rapid spread of the virus has sparked alarm worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared this rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. In this hour of crisis it is our individual responsibility to be well informed and follow the guidelines set by global bodies such as WHO and national health authority.
What is Covid-19 and how does it spread?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus, known as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets infect the surrounding objects and surfaces. The disease is then spread to other people by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. The disease can also be spread by directly breathing in droplets from a person with COVID-19. So, it is advised to stay more than 1 meter away from a person who is sick.
Symptoms and when to see a doctor –
The signs and symptoms of COVID-19 may appear anywhere between 2 to 14 days after exposure. The symptoms include:
These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people may be infected but show no symptoms and feel no discomfort. About 80% of people recover from the disease without any special treatment. People with underlying medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes and older people are more likely to develop serious illness.
Contact your doctor right away if you have COVID-19 symptoms, or if you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or if you live in or have travelled from an area with ongoing community spread of COVID-19. Call your doctor ahead and tell him about your symptoms and recent travels and possible exposure before your appointment.
Anyone with respiratory symptoms who haven’t been in an area with ongoing community spread can contact their doctor for further recommendations and guidance.
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak and be wary of false information. Most people become infected experience mild illness and recover, but for others, it can be severe. Take care of your health and protect others by doing and avoiding the following:
Lockdown guidelines –
To prevent any further spread of the virus the Indian government has declared a nationwide lockdown. Here are the guidelines:
Exceptions – Defence, central armed forces, treasury, public utilities (including petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG), disaster management, power generation and transmission units, post offices, National Informatics Centre, Early Warning Agencies.
Exceptions – Police, home guards, civil defence, fire & emergency services, disaster management, and prisons. District administration and treasury. Electricity, water, sanitation. Municipal bodies – only staff required for essential services like sanitation, personal related to water supply etc.
Exceptions – Shops including ration shops (under PDS), dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder. Banks, insurance offices and ATMs. Print and electronic media. Telecommunications, internet services, broadcasting and cable services.
IT and IT enabled Services (only for essential services).
Delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment through E-commerce.
Petrol pump, LPG, petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets.
Power generation, transmission and distribution units and services.
Capital and debt market services as notified by the securities and exchange board of India.
Cold storage and warehousing services.
Private security services.
All other establishments may work from home.
Exceptions – Manufacturing units of essential commodities. Production units, which require continuous process, after obtaining required permission from the state government.
Exceptions – Transportation for essential goods only. Fire, law and order and emergency services.
Exceptions – Hotels, homestays, lodges and motels which are accommodating tourists and persons stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew. Establishments used/earmarked for quarantine facilities.
The above containment measures will remain in force, in all parts of the country, for a period of 21 days with effect from 25.03.2020.
While the world is fighting against this pandemic it is necessary to not panic and cause further disruption. The Govt. is doing whatever is necessary to fight the virus and now it is our duty to follow the necessary guidelines and stop the virus from spreading any further. Responsibility starts with you.