With a population of 1.3 billion people, India is the second most populous country. Yet, compared to the population size and density, the COVID-19 infection rate is relatively low. It will stay that way if there’s citizen social responsibility for Coronavirus. As I write this, the tally of Coronavirus positive cases in India stands at 206.
The World Economic Forum credits this largely to the Indian government’s rapid action in suspending visas and quarantining incoming travellers. Indian citizens have been evacuated from Iran, Italy, Singapore, China and Japan. The same way our nation managed to contain the outbreaks of Ebola in 2014 and Nipah in 2018, the preventive action in shutting down schools, parks, gyms and other public places has been swift.
What can you and I do as responsible citizens to prevent this pandemic from spreading further?
Citizen social responsibility for Coronavirus
Contrary to some wrong beliefs about the disease outbreak, consuming more garlic, curry leaves or cow’s urine would neither treat nor prevent Coronavirus infection. The Public Health department of Maharashtra have asked people to eat healthy, cover the mouth while coughing or sneezing and practise good hygiene.
Rather than believing the half-baked rumours on social media, stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak via correct sources. We recommend the websites of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and WHO (World Health Organization), and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The prime minister, in a televised address to the nation, announced a ‘Janata Curfew’ from 7 am to 9 pm Sunday, 22 March, to stop the spread of coronavirus that has already claimed four lives in the country and infected at least 169 others. Modi also stressed on the need to avoid panic buying and assured that the government was taking all steps to ensure that supply of essential commodities was not disrupted.
To practise citizen social responsibility for Coronavirus, take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:
Wash your hands with soap often
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer. Wash them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds every time.
Practise social distancing
Social distancing is a form of infection prevention that involves avoiding contact between those who are infected with a disease-causing pathogen and those who are not. This eventually leads to decrease in spread of the disease.
Avoid going to public gatherings and crowded places. Maintain at least 3 feet distance while speaking to anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Avoid touching your face and eyes
In the course of the day, your hands touch various metal, steel, glass, wood and cloth surfaces. God forbid, they are contaminated, your hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth.
Ensure respiratory hygiene
By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19. Make sure you, and your family and friends follow good respiratory hygiene. Vampire cough (coughing with your elbow bent over your mouth and nose) or use a tissue and dispose it immediately. The virus spreads through droplets.
Stay home if unwell
If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention. This will allow your family doctor to quickly direct you to the right health facility.
If you have a travel history
Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose. Avoiding contact with others and visiting a medical facility instead will allow healthcare professionals to operate more effectively and help protect you.
We will be updating you more on steps in citizen social responsibility for Coronavirus in this page as we gather more information.