Don’t panic, take precautions: DAK on coronavirus

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Srinagar: Following the recent outbreak of the coronavirus in China which has infected almost 6000 people and claimed at least 132 lives so far, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Wednesday has urged health authorities in Kashmir to prepare for the potential spread of the virus in the valley.

“In today’s connected world, an outbreak anywhere can be a risk everywhere,” said DAK President Dr. Nisar ul Hassan in a statement. “We have to prepare in advance to deal with the virus,” he said adding “advance planning and preparedness are critical to help mitigate the impact of any eventuality.”

Dr. Nisar said the virus is on the move with reported cases in at least five other countries. We have to expect that we will get cases in Kashmir too. We should be prepared for surveillance, early detection, infection prevention and control, logistics and in particular hospital preparedness in terms of isolation and ventilation management of severe cases.

“The best way to prevent the virus is to stop it from coming in as once the virus enters the community it is difficult to control it,” he said.

“Passengers at Srinagar international airport and Lower Munda Qazigund should undergo thermal screening and screening for any other symptom of the illness,” he added.

Dr. Nisar said the new coronavirus is believed to have animal origin. Human-to- human transmission has been confirmed. “When the virus is new, we do not know how it affects people.

The most frequently reported symptoms of confirmed cases were fever, cough, muscle aches and difficulty in breathing. Cases of severe infection resulted in pneumonia and death. A quarter of those who died had underlying medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease,” he informed.

“There is no specific cure or vaccine for the virus. People should take simple precautions that would help prevent spread of the virus. Washing your hands with soap and water and covering your mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing will keep you and people around you healthy and well. Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough and avoid unprotected contact with live wild or farm animals,” advised Dr. Nisar. (KNO)

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