The outrageous spread of the novel coronavirus – COVID 19 has taken the entire world by storm by accounting for more than 2 lakh deaths globally. The novel disease has no cure as of yet and hence, only precautionary measures can help stop the spread of the global pandemic, which has wrapped more than 150 countries under its influence. Among keeping your personal and respiratory hygiene on priority, the Government has also stressed on the importance of quarantine and taken steps to quarantine individuals who have been exposed to the infection.
Quarantine refers to a period, place, or state of isolation for people who have been exposed to the sickness but do not have any symptoms currently. Governments use a quarantine to protect the public and stop the spread of a contagious disease such as the new coronavirus. Quarantine helps keep the exposed population away from the other non-exposed individuals so that no one is unknowingly infecting other people by acting as a carrier of the infection.
The importance of quarantine in saving lives in these current times is unparalleled. Precautions and preventions are the only way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Generally, quarantines are used during:
- Outbreaks of a disease, which leads to a sudden hike in the number of deaths
- Epidemics are similar to outbreaks but are more intense, severe and widespread
- Pandemics are the largest of them all and generally global, thereby affecting millions of people
In the present alarming situation of COVID-19, a person is kept under quarantine or is asked to self-quarantine him or herself because of the following reasons:
- Recent travel to another country, which reportedly has multiple COVID-19 cases
- Staying in close proximity with a person who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus or is suffering from COVID-19
A minimum quarantine of 14 days is recommended for people exposed or infected with COVID-19. However, the decision of ending the quarantine or extending it depends on case-to-case.
Quarantine helps to save lives by restricting exposed persons or people at risk from meeting other healthy individuals and threatening their safety by infecting them.
Some measures to be adopted during the quarantine to help save lives include:
Staying home: Under quarantine, a person should remain in his/her house and avoid leaving the premises unless absolutely necessary. No work, school, gym, or any other kind of social outing is to be undertaken during this time. Only necessary outings such as grocery buying or visiting the doctor for emergency purposes should be undertaken in quarantine.
Be monitored: The doctors will essentially keep a tab on the vitals and other indicators which could signify a potential infection.
Limit pet interaction: Even though there have no proof to substantiate if pets can spread the novel coronavirus, yet it is recommended to avoid contact with pets during the quarantine.
Use individual stuff: During quarantine, the most essential thing is to not share things such as utensils, towels or beds, etc. One must have his or her stuff and only use it for need.
Keep up personal and respiratory hygiene: During quarantine, the person must ensure to wash hands and sanitize them with alcohol-based products frequently to avoid spreading the infection. Also, practising good respiratory hygiene such as wearing masks, folding your elbow while sneezing or coughing, drinking lukewarm water, staying hydrated, etc. can help in keeping the infection at bay.
Social distancing: Strictly avoid large gatherings. In case, it is critical to visit a place with many people, ensure there is a 2 meter or six feet gap between the other individual and yourself. Some other measure that promotes social distancing is lockdown, work from homes, school closures, shopping mall shut shutdown or closure of religious places and more.
While it can be daunting for a person, it is important to remember the importance of these quarantine measures in helping save lives. Moreover, during such critical and emotionally exhausting times fear and anxiety is most likely t impact people and shuffle their mental well being. It is very necessary for a person to ensure they take care of their mental health by indulging in things such as regular exercising at home, keeping a distance from disturbing news, taking up a hobby, keeping up a schedule, virtually connecting with people, seeking assistance from loved ones, and more.
It is fundamental to stay calm and also simultaneously provide 10 per cent cooperation since that will substantially help to stop the spread of the COVID-19 further, which has alone claimed more than 1000 deaths and has infected nearly 30,000 people as of the date. The global reach of the pandemic has surpassed more than 3 million cases, which is considerably alarming and stresses more on the importance of quarantine for life-saving.