As a fast-moving coronavirus, prevention is vital to cull the spread of COVID-19 whilst we await the vaccine.
Best practices for Coronavirus prevention
In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the WHO recommends taking the following precautions.
Practice social distancing
- Stay at home as much as possible. Consult the specific guidance in your own country in terms of working from home and getting groceries and other essentials.
- When you do go out, maintain a distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) between yourself and other people. This reduces your chance of contracting the virus expressed through the coughing, sneezing and breathing of an infected person.
- Avoid crowds. In large gatherings, your odds of crossing paths with an infected person are higher. Furthermore, it is more difficult to maintain a safe 2-metre distance.
- By practising social distancing you also prevent passing the infection to those around you if you have picked up the virus but remain asymptomatic.
- If you display any symptoms of COVID-19, you should stay home and self-isolate until you make a full recovery. Even if you only have minor symptoms such as a cough, headache and mild fever.
- Arrange with a friend or relative to deliver any supplies. If you must leave your house, wear a mask and obey social distancing rules.
Practice good hygiene
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water. Particularly after handling grocery items, exchanging money and making physical contact with others. You can also apply an alcohol-based hand gel. Applying these substances kills any traces of the virus that may be on your hands.
- Avoid touching your face – particularly your eye area, nose and mouth. You may have traces of the virus on your hands which is then transferred to your face and puts you at risk of infection. This makes regular hand washing all the more important.
- To protect others, always cover your nose and mouth whilst coughing or sneezing. Use a tissue or bend your elbow. Dispose of the tissue carefully immediately after use and wash your hands.
- When you return from the supermarket or grocery store, don’t forget to wipe your phone. This is another surface on which the virus may linger.
Wear a mask
- Wear a protective face mask when you do go out. This helps prevent the spread of coronavirus by containing the droplets. The WHO does not advise the wearing of rubber gloves as the virus can be spread more easily this way. It is better to be vigilant and thorough with your hand-washing.
- Consult your own government’s guidelines on whether wearing a mask in public is mandatory.
Consult your doctor over the phone
- If you develop more moderate or severe symptoms of COVID-19, seek medical attention over the phone. Your local facilities will be able to advise you on where to go to seek treatment.
- Turning up unannounced with coronavirus symptoms puts the healthcare workers and other patients at risk and will hinder coronavirus prevention efforts.
Follow the latest information from trusted sources. Refer to the WHO or your own local and national health authorities for guidance and to stay updated on the recent developments.