Coronavirus pandemic: How can you protect yourself? All important questions answered

Updated: Mar 23, 2020, 02:29 PM(IST)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared coronavirus outbreak a pandemic as the virus has infected over 183,000 people globally with more than 7,000 deaths reported.

Here we address frequently asked questions about coronavirus:

What are the symptoms of the disease?

Those who have been infected with coronavirus, suffer coughs, fever and breathing difficulties. The symptoms could take up to 14 days to appear. The coronavirus can also cause pneumonia.

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Do face masks help?

While they don't guarantee total protection, experts do recommend using one. The virus transmits through droplets when someone sneezes.

If you are close to someone who has been infected, the mask can stop the disease from being passed on. Similarly, if you are showing the symptoms, wearing a mask can protect others.

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Is there a cure?

So far, there is none. There is no approved drug for the coronavirus, but several are being tested. According to reports from last month, the doctors are using a combination of drugs and methods to treat the patients. 

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When can we expect the vaccination?

The health ministry officials have said COVID-19 is difficult to isolate and at least one-and-a-half to two years will be needed to develop the vaccine. 
 

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How can you protect yourself?

Wash your hands with clean water and soap, meticulous hand washing is the best available option. If that is not possible, one may use wipes or hand sanitizers. Avoid touching your face, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.

If you are visiting any affected areas, avoid direct, unprotected contact with live animals, or surfaces that were under contact with animals. Avoid eating raw, undercooked animal products.

Keep some distance from people who are obviously sick and avoid direct contact with them. Avoid public gatherings, wet markets or farms.

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When should you see a doctor?

Seek medical attention if you develop symptoms, especially fever or shortness of breath. Ensure you provide your travel history.

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Coronavirus strikes and lockdown imposed

Coronavirus brought the whole world to a stand still. Lockdowns were imposed across countries to prevent spread of the disease. Many sporting events were halted midway due to the lockdown. 

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Does garlic/lemon with hot water prevent or cure Covid-19 ?

None of these substances have been scientifically tested against Covid-19

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Does taking hydroxychloroquine prevent COVID-19?

Does taking hydroxychloroquine prevent COVID-19?

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Should we avoid touching packages/gas pumps/shopping carts/ATMs?

No. Coronavirus surface survival is one thing; that surface causing an infection is another. Wash your hands as per WHO instructions after touching the packages/surfaces.

(Photograph:AFP)

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