Lockdown relaxation is the time to be extra cautious, say doctors
Hyderabad, May 24 (IANS): With the increased movement of people on roads and other public places following relaxation of lockdown norms by the Central and state governments, one must be extra cautious to avoid being contracted by the deadly coronavirus, say doctors.
According to them, people need to be especially careful by taking all preventive measures while using public places.
“This is the time when one must stay extra cautious to ensure they do not contract the deadly coronavirus from carriers,” said Dr Arabind Panda, senior consultant urologist, KIMS Hospitals.
He believes that there is an added responsibility on the people who operate stores and public places to ensure the surroundings are disinfected on a continuous basis.
Office spaces, including conference rooms, should be cleaned every evening after office hours or early in the morning before the rooms are occupied. If the contact surface is visibly dirty, it should be cleaned with soap and water prior to disinfection.
“Covid-19 virus is transmitted in most instances through respiratory droplets, direct contact with cases and also through contaminated surfaces/objects. Though the virus survives on environmental surfaces for a varied period, it gets inactivated by chemical disinfectants. All indoor areas to a shop or office such as entrance lobbies, corridors and staircases, escalators, elevators, security guard booths, office rooms, meeting rooms, cafeteria should be mopped with a disinfectant like sodium hypochlorite or 7% phenol twice daily,” he said.
Disinfectants with 70 per cent alcohol can be used to wipe down surfaces like metal where the use of sodium hypochlorite is not suitable. Benzalkonium Chloride or any other disinfectants found to be effective against coronavirus may be used as per manufacturer’s instructions.
The doctor said masks are effective if worn according to instructions and properly fitted. It is important not to touch the masks or the face. Disposable masks should be discarded if they become physically damaged or soaked. Reusable cloth masks should be washed daily with detergents and water and then dried thoroughly before being reused.
Dr. Saji Dsouza, Chairman & Managing Director, KSAC group of Hospitals, said with life slowly starting to fall back to rhythm with lockdown relaxation, a ‘new normal’ set of guidelines for everyone to follow has taken birth.
“Wash your hands for 20 seconds when and where possible. Face and its parts should be covered with appropriate masks and should not be touched frequently. Sanitise your hands before and after every contact. ‘Namaste’ is the best way to greet anyone, maintain physical distancing of at least one meter from the next fellow being,” he said.
Dr Saji is of the view that people should avoid any form of crowd. “Any purchases of fruits/ vegetables bought should be thoroughly washed with baking powder mixed in hot water or hot saline before consumption. Drink your own beverages from home to keep you hydrated.
“Eat dishes made of amla, ginger, garlic, black pepper, turmeric etc.”
Dr Nishanth Sinha, Consultant Pulmonologist, Continental Hospitals, too, feels that as lockdown is eased and people have started coming out, extra care must be taken at work place and while using public transport.
“Wear facemask all the time. Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet. Don’t go shopping as a source of entertainment, do the shopping swiftly, and efficiently. Avoid using your finger tips to push a door or a button. Use your knuckles, knees, feet etc. Carry extra napkins, masks and disinfecting wipe if possible. Avoid giving lift to any unknown person in your car or bike.”
At workplaces, people should wear masks all the time, maintain social distancing and wash hands many times with soap and water.