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Since its advent in December 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused 3,306,954 deaths, affecting over 158,977,758 people globally. Covid-19 can affect anyone, causing symptoms ranging from mild to very severe. In India, the novel coronavirus cases account for 22,662,575, with 246,146 deaths reported.
India's health care system has been overwhelmed by the deadly coronavirus. International support has begun arriving in the country even as COVID-19 infections and deaths increase. Amidst this surge, the Union Health Ministry has shared a guide on COVID-19 appropriate behaviours.
As studies point out, adoption of COVID-19 appropriate behaviours, such as practising cough etiquette, hand hygiene and social distancing, is the best way to stop transmission of the virus and its variants . Physical-distancing measures and movement restrictions can slow COVID-19 transmission by limiting contact between people, say experts .
15 Preventive Behavioural Practices Against COVID-19
According to the illustrated guide, the following are the preventive behavioural practices critical for preventing the spread of the deadly infection .
1. Greet without physical contact.
2. Maintain physical distance. Keep a minimum distance of 6 feet. Also, follow distancing norms when in a room or office with other people.
3. Wear reusable hand-made face-cover or mask at all times if you are going out; DOUBLE MASK.
4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. When you touch surfaces, your hands can easily pick up germs, then transfer them to your eyes, nose or mouth. And from there, the virus can enter your body, making you sick.
5. Maintain respiratory hygiene. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or handkerchief. Wash hands immediately after you cough or sneeze.
6. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if you don't have soap and water.
7. Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Practising good environmental hygiene makes your surroundings safer. You may use chemical disinfectants to clean the surfaces, and make sure to wear gloves during disinfection.
8. DO NOT spit in the open. Every time you chose to do this unhygienic practice, you are putting yourself and other's life at risk. Studies have shown that spitting in public places can increase the risk of COVID-19 spread.
9. Avoid unnecessary travel and travel when it's absolutely essential. If you have to step out of your home, wear a mask and follow the distancing norms.
10. Do not discriminate. Show compassion and support to individuals and families affected with COVID-19.
11. Discourage crowd and encourage safety. Avoid going to social gatherings and crowded places. For unavoidable events, keep the number of guests to minimal.
12. Do not circulate social media posts that carry unverified or negative information.
13. Seek information on COVID-19 from credible sources.
14. Seek psychosocial support in case of any distress or anxiety. Coping with any public emergency or outbreak can be a testing time for people and their families, both affected or unaffected. DO NOT ignore or suppress any feelings of anxiety or distress. Call on national psychosocial toll-free helpline number 08046110007.
15. Call national toll-free helpline numbers 1075 or State helpline numbers for any COVID-19 related queries. If you have any COVID-19 related queries or observe any COVID-19 related symptoms like fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call the national helpline number.
On A Final Note...
Each one of us must adopt the necessary precautionary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. Evidence from the past year shows that implementation of public health measures and adoption of COVID-19 appropriate behaviours are effective strategies to curtail virus transmission.