Dr KK Aggarwal
President CMAAO, HCFI and Pasty national President IMA
Stay home unless you must see a doctor. No work, school, college, cinema halls or shopping. If you must come out of your room, wear a surgical mask. And don’t share towels.
Self-quarantine and self-isolation are different. The first measure is for the large numbers of healthy people who may fall sick following possible exposure. The second is for people who are ill with the coronavirus — they are a danger to their family and visitors, and must be watched carefully in case they deteriorate.
At the moment, with testing still not available all over it is best to self quarantine.
Governments have the power not just to advise quarantine but to order it.
Stay Home: if returned from any affected country; have symptoms of fever and a dry cough, spent time in other countries or on cruise ships; or ill without any known source of infection.
Home quarantine of 2 weeks may be unpleasant especially if you have young children or elderly relatives to care for, or live in cramped quarters with a lot of roommates.
If you are potentially infectious, it is important that you separate yourself from your partner, your housemates, your children, your elderly aunt. Shouldn’t even pet your dog, although pets are not known to transmit the coronavirus.
A room must be designated for your exclusive use. A bathroom should be, too, if possible. Every surface you cough on or touch could become contaminated with the virus.
Have no visitors, and keep three to six feet away from others. Don’t take the bus or metro, or even a taxi.
If you must be around other people — in your home, or in a car, because you’re on your way to see a doctor (only after you have called) — you should wear a surgical mask, and everyone else should, too. If you can’t, you can create a makeshift one from a scarf or other garment.
If you cough or sneeze, you should cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, and discard the used tissue in a lined trash can. Then you must immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
You can use sanitizer, if you can find it, but soap and water is preferred.
Even if you haven’t coughed or sneezed, you should wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, if you haven’t just washed them.
Don’t share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding with anyone (including your pets). Wash these items after you use them.
Countertops, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables are considered “high-touch surfaces” — wipe them often with a household cleanser or 0.1% bleach.
Frequently wipe down surfaces that may be contaminated by bodily fluids, including blood and stool.
Keep an eye on your health and call a doctor if you develop symptoms or if they worsen. Make sure to tell the medical staff that you are at risk of coronavirus.
Housemates can go to work or school, stock up on groceries, pick up prescriptions, take care of the quarantined and keep the place clean.
They’ll be wiping down doorknobs and countertops, doing loads of laundry and washing their hands — a lot.
Family members and other occupants should monitor the patient’s symptoms and call a doctor if they see a turn for the worse.
When around a symptomatic patient, household members must wear a face mask, as well as gloves if they have contact with his or her bodily fluids. These should be thrown away immediately, never reused.
Elderly members of the household and those with chronic medical conditions risk severe complications, even death, if they become infected. Pregnant women may also be at particular risk, although the data aren’t clear.
In China, 70 to 80 percent of transmission occurred within family clusters. Local governments there were forced to set up isolation wards with thousands of beds in gymnasiums and stadiums to care for people who lived alone or were at risk of infecting their families.
Family members should monitor their own health, and call a doctor if they develop a cough, fever or shortness of breath.
Need of the day
Govt, work insurance and mediclaim must pay for self-quarantine. Not everyone can work remotely. A two-week absence from work can take an enormous financial toll. [ Source Newyork times]