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Taking extra precautions is the need of the hour- Doctors over relaxations of lockdown

Hyderabad: With the relaxations permitted in the country by the Central and state governments, there is a higher chance of people getting infected by coronavirus as the streets and other public places are going to be occupied and filled with people walking merrily without thinking of the virus. As such, doctors suggest everyone to be extra careful and cautious and not put your lives at stake.

They say that people need to remain alert and precautious, taking all possible measures to stay safe while using the 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.

According to him, people who run stores and public places have an additional duty to ensure that their premises are disinfected very often.

Office spaces, like conference rooms, desks, etc., should be cleaned every evening after office hours or early in the morning before the concerned people enter the rooms. If the surface of an item seems dirty or unclean, it should be washed with soap and water before disinfecting it.

“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 over surfaces like metal to kill the viruses where the use of sodium hypochlorite is not suitable. Benzalkonium Chloride or any other disinfectants found to be effective against coronavirus can be used as per manufacturer’s instructions present on the bottle or container of the respective disinfectant.

According to the doctor, face masks are effective only they are worn the way they should. It should be properly fitted and worn following the instructions. After wearing the mask, it is vital to keep your hands away from the mask or face. Disposable masks should be thrown after using it once. It is important to understand that disposable masks cannot be reused like re-useable cloth masks. Cloth masks should be washed with soap and water properly after using once and need to be dried thoroughly before wearing it again. Accumulation of bacteria and viruses on the disposable masks, if not thrown, can turn out to be a threat rather than a safety measure. The efficiency of masks should also be noted before buying them. Some masks in the market are found to be faulty and not helpful at all. People need to careful while selecting one.

Dr. Saji Dsouza, Chairman & Managing Director, KSAC group of Hospitals, said with life slowly starting to fall back into rhythm with lockdown relaxations, a ‘new normal’ set of rules 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 advices people to 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 moving around the cities, extra precautions must be taken at offices and while using public transport like cabs, autos and buses.

“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. As far as possible, people should try to work from home to avoid the risks of contracting the virus.