1. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a person to person virus stain which originated from Wuhan city in Hubei Province China in Dec 2019. There is very little accurate and authentic knowledge about this new virus which has the potential to spread very rapidly and cause severe respiratory illness and pneumonia. All that is known is that the new disease is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose produced when an infected person sneezes or coughs within a range of 6 feet of an unaffected person. The spread of this virus is also possible by an uninfected person touching a surface or an object that has virus on it and then touching his mouth, nose or eyes. The incubation period for symptoms to be visible is anything between 2 days and 14 days after exposure. However, there are isolated cases of an asymptomatic person transmitting the infection to another person before they develop the symptom. Therefore the necessity of 14 days isolation/ quarantine for people returning from endemic areas.
2. As on date there is no known or FDA approved medication for COVID-19. People infected with this virus should receive supportive care such as rest, fluids, and fever control to help reduce symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support the functioning of vital organs. Masks should only be worn by infected people and not as a preventive measure against COVID-19.
3. Older people, 60 and above are more susceptible to getting infected by COVID-19. In addition, people of all ages having severe underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes are at a higher risk. There is currently no scientific data to support susceptibility of pregnant women.
4 UNICEF has educated masses by providing information that
(a) The Virus is large in size and ANY type of mask will prevent its entry.
(b) The virus not does settle in the air and is not transmittable by air.
(c) The virus remains alive for 12 hours on a metal surface. Washing of hands with soap and water is enough to prevent danger.
(d) Virus on fabric remains alive for 9 hours and two hours if exposed to sun. Therefore washing and sun drying is enough.
(e) Virus on hand stays alive for 10 minutes. Therefore an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is effective.
(f) If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
(g) Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
5. Due to an overdose of information about COVID-19 by Print, Electronic, and Social Media, children may worry about themselves. Therefore it is our duty as Parents, school authorities and trusted adults to play an important role to allay unfounded fears and reassure children by providing accurate information and to also teach them everyday actions to reduce spread of germs. The following myths about COVID-19 need to be busted:-
(a) Hand dryers are effective in killing the new coronavirus
(b) Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kills the virus
(c) Pets at home spread the new coronavirus
(d) Vaccines against pneumonia protects you against the virus
(e) Regularly rinsing your nose with saline helps prevent infection
(f) Eating garlic helps prevent the infection
(g) Antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus
(h) The new virus can be transmitted through Mosquitoes.
(i) Cold weather and snow cannot kill the virus
(j) Ultraviolet disinfection lamp kills the new virus
(k) COVID-19 cannot be transmitted in Hot and humid areas.
(l) Taking a hot water bath kills the virus
8. WHO has rung the alarm bells loud and clear to declare that the virus has attained Pandemic proportions. A pandemic is declared when a disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations. India with 60 confirmed cases has issued a travel advisory suspending all visa’s except Diplomatic, Official, UN/ International orgs till 15 April. The suspension is effective from 13 March 2020 at the port of departure. Similarly US has also imposed travel ban to Europe except UK from Midnight of 13 Mar 2020.
9. As on date there are 1,25,972 confirmed cases and 4631 deaths worldwide. What is reassuring is that as per John Hopkins University, 66000 infected people worldwide have recovered till date from this deadly virus. This is a rapidly evolving situation, so information changes by the hour