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COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The novel coronavirus has spread to 194 countries and affected more than 4,80,000 people. 

COVID-19 has the easiest mode of transmitting as it spreads through direct human contact. An infected person can spread the virus through the infected droplets that shed while sneezing and coughing. When a healthy person inhales that infected air, the virus enters their body through their nose or mouth. The virus can stay for hours and sometimes days on a surface touched by an infected person. 

Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, the Indian Prime Minister announced a complete lockdown across the country on 25th March 2020 which will last for the next 21 days. 

Here are 10 tips which can help you to protect yourself from the COVID-19 infection.

  1. Stay at home
  2. Wash your hands frequently - do not touch your face, eyes, nose and mouth
  3. Sanitize your hands
  4. Maintain one-metre distance
  5. Cover your face while sneezing or coughing
  6. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and eyes
  7. Keep your surroundings clean
  8. Self-quarantine
  9. Eat properly cooked food
  10. Use protective gears: Masks and gloves

Firstly, avoid travelling, attending public gatherings or visiting people, as anyone can have the viral disease. Stay at home unless its emergent, especially if you are an older person or have any underlying medical condition like hypertension, diabetes or any heart or lung condition.

Wash your hands more often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to ensure proper cleaning. By washing hands, you can remove all the germs (bacteria or virus) present on the surface of the hands.

Always carry a small bottle of alcohol-based sanitizer with you. When you do not have water and soap around you, you can clean your hands with sanitizers. An effective hand sanitizer should have at least 60% alcohol content in it. The alcohol present in the sanitizer destroys the outer wall of bacteria and viruses whereas the hydroxyl groups break up the peptide bonds present in the inner membrane of these microorganisms. This deactivates them so that they can no longer spread infection.

Maintain a distance of at least one metre (3 feet) between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. This is because when a person coughs or sneezes they disperse tiny droplets of infection from their nose and mouth which may contain the COVID-19 virus. If you come in contact with those infected droplets, you can get the disease.

Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a disposable tissue whenever you cough or sneeze. Dispose of that tissue in a closed bin immediately after use. After disposing of, wash your hands with soap and water. This would restrict the spread of contagious diseases like common cold, flu and even COVID-19.

Since the infected droplets from a COVID-19 patient can stay on inanimate surfaces for hours, we should try not to touch high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, elevator buttons, tabletop, remotes, handles, etc. This is because once our hands touch these surfaces, they carry the virus along. Then the virus enters our body when we touch our eyes, nose and mouth with the same unwashed hands. So in order to avoid that try not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth frequently.

Clean the high-touch surfaces in your house with either a reusable cloth or a disposable towel dipped in a disinfectant, cleaning agent (or detergent) and warm water. Wear protective gloves while cleaning the surfaces.

If you have travelled back from a COVID-19 affected area, self-quarantine yourself for at least 14 days after travel, even if you do not show any symptoms. You should wait for a minimum of 14 days before getting in touch with others as it is the incubation period for the disease. A person who has contracted COVID-19 would start showing the symptoms like shortness of breath, cough or fever within 14 days.

Try not to eat outdoors. If a person contracted with COVID-19 prepares your food, there is a slight possibility that the food might get contaminated either while preparing or while packing. You can eat any kind of animal product, but it should be properly cooked. Handle raw meat or animal organs with caution.

Wear protective masks and gloves when you have to go to a public place like when you go out to buy groceries. Also, wear protective masks if you stay with a person who is coughing and sneezing. Discard the mask carefully in the bin after use.

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