As the deadly outbreak of coronavirus worsens by the day, fear and paranoia are growing among the general public. With so much unverified information out there, sometimes it becomes hard to distinguish facts from fiction. Fake news is making people hoard up on goods, bathe in a pool of cow-dung and chant "go corona, corona go!" So you can understand the utter importance of sharing the right information at a crucial time like this.
Actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who is a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, decided to clear everyone's doubts for once and for all. She held an Instagram live session with two medical experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO)--Dr Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the WHO and Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, Technical Lead for COIVD-19--and asked them some questions about the infectious virus that people are confused about.
She later saved the shared the session on her IGTV for those who missed it with the caption,"There is so much information circulating about Covid-19 and right now we’re all searching for clarity. My friends at @WHO and @glblctzn graciously brought the doctors working on the front lines here to give us answers straight from the experts. Please take some time to watch my IG Live with Dr Tedros (General-Director at WHO) and Dr Maria Van Kerkhove (Technical Lead for Covid-19) from @WHO, who answered some questions that so many of you sent in."
Here's a quick recap of some of the most relevant questions:
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and right now we’re all searching for clarity. My friends at @WHO and @glblctzn graciously brought the doctors working on the front lines here to give us answers straight from the experts. Please take some time to watch my IG Live with Dr. Tedros (General-Director at W.H.O.) and Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove (Technical Lead for Covid-19) from @WHO, who answered some questions that so many of you sent in. Guys, let’s make it our duty to donate to @WHO and stand in solidarity to help flatten the curve (link is up in my bio 👆🏽) and please tag your friends and family below who are looking for answers and action steps 🙏 Thank you so much Dr. Tedros and Dr. Maria for taking the time, and thank you @glblctzn for everything you do. Everyone please be responsible, stay home and stay safe ❤️ #Covid19 #Coronavirus #WorldHealthOrganization
What extra precautions should people with compromised immune systems take?
People who have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, cancer and people over the age of 60 are at a higher risk of developing severe disease. You need to ensure that you can limit your potential exposure to this virus as much as you can...so staying at home for a couple of weeks is a good one. But if there's one message we can get across to young people around the globe is that you are not invincible...everybody's at risk. It's a new disease. So taking extra precautions of coronavirus to prevent yourself from being exposed is good and if you are out, make sure you do 'the five'.
1. Wash your hands for 20 seconds
2. Use your elbow if you have to sneeze or cough
3. Don't touch your face
4. Keep your distance
5. Stay home if you have symptoms
You say we need to get tested but so many countries don't have enough tests, what should they do?
They should make sure that there's access to testing because I don't think they will have economic reasons not to do it. But there are countries that are low-income or middle-income, who may not afford it, and we need to have international solidarity to support them.
There are countries that are saying it's going to economically affect them if they stop people from going to work...
This is temporary! We're going to get through this. People are scared, and that's normal. Nothing about this new world that we're living in is normal, but people are showing solidarity, they're showing ways to turn fear into something positive. Every single person on the planet has a role to play here, and every single person is part of this fight.
What is that we as countries...as people..can urgently do to flatten the curve?
Continue to do physical distancing, but at the same time testing, gathering contacts, isolating, and the full package. We HAVE to be on the offensive.
India just implemented a 21-day lockdown in a country with 1.3 billion people. Many countries are taking it seriously, but do you think that...governments around the world are doing enough?
Physical distancing and other measures are important, but at the same time we have to test suspected cases...isolated those cases...and test contacts and isolate them too. Physical distancing is a defensive tactic but we need testing and isolating in order to be on the offensive.
Can you catch the virus from the air?
The virus is not airborne. The virus is spread through droplets, which are particles of liquid that come out of your nose or mouth when you talk or sneeze. This is why it is important to cough into your elbow. If those particles land on a surface, and you touch that surface with your hand, then you touch your eyes, nose or mouth...that is how the virus is contracted. If you touch an infected surface and wash your hands or use sanitizer...then it will kill the virus particles on your hand. The virus does not spread through food or animals.
If you have recovered from COVID-19, can you get it again?
We don't have the full picture of this virus. We know that 1,00,000 people of the 4,00,000 cases have recovered. We are expecting that people who do get infected will develop an immune response. We don't know how strong that is or how long it will last.
Is COVID-19 vulnerable to heat and if our house is warm, will the bacteria die?
This is a virus, not a bacteria. The virus can spread to different temperatures, we've seen it spread in cold temperatures in Northern China, and we've seen it spread in warmer temperatures in Africa and Singapore.
How is the WHO working (with other partners) to help produce a vaccine and ensure that everyone, even those in the poorest counties, are able to access it?
We have more than 400 scientists working on it and there are some vaccine candidates. Vaccines may not be ready for another 12 months from now. It may take a year to 18 months to discover the right vaccine.
Is it possible to have COVID-19 and not have a fever?
It is, but it would be rare. What we know from people who have COVID-19 is that they have a fever, a dry cough and shortness of breath. Some people will also have muscle pain and a headache. Very few people will have a runny nose and sneezing. 90% of people infected in China reported a fever.
What is co-infection?
Co-infection means you are infected with multiple things at the same time.
Is hand-washing more efficient than sanitizing your hands?
Use whatever you have access to. If you have access to an alcohol-based rub, make sure to use that.
Our desi girl also appealed to her fans to donate and support the battle against COVID-19. "Guys, let’s make it our duty to donate to @WHO and stand in solidarity to help flatten the curve (link is up in my bio 👆🏽) and please tag your friends and family below who are looking for answers and action steps 🙏 Thank you so much Dr Tedros and Dr Maria for taking the time, and thank you @glblctzn for everything you do. Everyone, please be responsible, stay home and stay safe ❤️ #Covid19 #Coronavirus #WorldHealthOrganization," she said.
Well, this was a wonderful, informative and much-needed initiative by PCJ. We're glad to have a lot of our doubts surrounding this virus cleared. Now, let's do our part in bringing this global crisis to an end--stay indoors, 'do the five', spread awareness and donate as much as we can.
Featured Image: Instagram
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