The emergence of covid cases is a wake-up call that there is no place for complacency over safety precautions observed lately, and it is time to pull up our socks to prevent a second wave.
Avoid events in closed air-conditioned spaces for the next few months. As a society, we must work towards not stigmatising the persons who test positive for Covid-19
There are some important things that people must keep in mind and hopefully might have learnt from the pandemic.
Guidelines if a family member tested positive
1) It is important that all other family members also quarantine themselves for a period of 14 days even though there may not be any symptoms.
2) If there are symptoms, immediately get yourself tested too.
3) Those who do not have the symptoms but were exposed to an infected person should go in for quarantine. This is different from self-isolation.
4) Self isolation is for those who are already sick. You isolate yourself so that you do not pass on the infection to anyone else. It is recommended for a period of 14 days when a sick person should refrain from going outside the house or using public transport.
5) If you need medicines, get them delivered to your home
6) All items and surfaces touched by the infected person should be disinfected. This includes table, chairs, shelves, toilets, clothes, utensils, etc.
7) Separate the personal care items like soaps, shampoo, towels. Do not use the same bathrooms, if possible.
8) Self-declare the condition to the housing society or neighbours so that you do not have any visitors during such a period.
9) Machine wash at 60 to 90 degrees Celsius is recommended by the World Health Organisation. Wash and dry the clothes and linen of an infected family member, separately. After washing, make sure you have adequately cleaned yourself and washed your hands well.
The WHO advisory says that one must use heavy-duty gloves before handling these clothes.
Guidelines if a neighbour in the society is tested positive
Now that we are seeing more cases, first of all, there is no need to panic.
1) If you are maintaining a social distance, there are least chances of an infection. If you have, by chance, come into contact and show certain symptoms, quarantine yourself till you feel alright and the lab results are negative.
2) Avoid assemblies and congregation to maintain a safe distance from other people.
3) Always help by giving provisions or any medical supply, to the family. Just leave it at their doorstep.
REMEMBER: Quarantine is just physical isolation. Do keep in touch with the family by means of other mediums such as WhatsApp or phone calls and respect their need for privacy.
Guidelines for residents
1. Every time you touch anything outside your apartment, be it elevator buttons or groceries, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
2. Do not touch your face, nose, eyes or mouth with unwashed hands.
3. Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
4. Avoid crowded places. Do not be part of any gatherings, no matter how small or big inside the society. Social distancing is the need of the hour and it is in everyone’s interest that families stick to this public health advisory for now
5. Stay away from anyone who seems sick in the society but call them later to enquire after their health.
6. If you are running a fever or have a sore throat, self isolate yourself. If the symptoms worsen, contact a healthcare professional.
7. Don’t visit common areas like the gym and swimming pool.
8. Make sure that you are eating healthily. Exercise regularly inside the house. If you are going out for workout or walk or exercise, follow social distancing. Drink plenty of oral fluids and focus on deep breathing exercises, These measures will boost your immunity.
9. Keep the elderly safe while they are walking outside keeping in mind social distancing norms.
Guidelines for staff
1. The security guards and other staff must wear masks at all times.
2. They should have a supply of hand sanitizers or soap and water to clean their hands at the entry points.
3. Maintain a distance of 1 metre from people coming in from outside such as the newspaper boy or delivery person.
4. Inform your domestic help about all the safety measures being adopted and make sure he/she observes them as well.
5. Domestic helps, security guards, grocery vendor, newspaper vendor, delivery boys, etc., must be educated about the importance of personal hygiene
6. Thermal screening of all staff and visitors, which includes vendors, domestic help and car cleaners, is a must.
7. Create awareness through posters, standees and AV media.
8. Elevators should not be crowded and the number of people who can use it at a time must be restricted to 4
9. Common areas should be regularly sanitised.
• Physical distancing of six feet is compulsory for everyone.
• Face covers or masks are compulsory.
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 40-60 seconds, even if the hands are not seemingly unclean.
• Use sanitisers for 20 seconds, whenever required.
• Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze and always use a tissue, handkerchief or in the absence of these, flex your elbow to minimise the risk of transmission.
• Everyone should monitor their health and do not shy away from reporting it to the authorities and seek help if needed
We observed that young people in Hyderabad are under the impression that nothing will happen to them if they test positive for Covid-19. But, there have been instances where even young Covid-19 patients have died, so never take Covid-19 lightly.
STAY SAFE, FOLLOW SOCIAL DISTANCING, PREVENT THE SPREAD
Dr Madhavi Borra