Now that the novel coronavirus has been declared a pandemic, it’s time to understand why social distancing, self-quarantine, and self-isolation are important–who needs to do what. After all as of March 16, the number of COVID-19 cases has risen above 110 in India.
For starters, people who have recently travelled may have come in contact with a coronavirus carrier or someone they suspect has the disease. While they may not necessarily develop symptoms of flu for as long as 14 days, they still are carriers. Following their journey, such people should generally avoid coming in contact with others for a two-week window.
So, should you quarantine yourself?
People who have been exposed to coronavirus and are at risk of coming down with a COVID-19 infection should practice self-quarantine.
Health experts suggested a period of 14 days for self-quarantine to give them enough window to comprehend whether they will become ill and become contagion for the society at large.
So if you have a travel history to places with rising coronavirus cases, then for the sake of your health–and those of others around you–it’s best that you opt for isolation.
If you are entering self-quarantine, here are a few steps you need to take:
– Confine yourself to your homes and avoid having visitors.
– If you need to contact friends and family, use the telephone or social media.
– If you are making use of online shopping facilities for basic supplies, then point out in the delivery instructions that the items must be left at the door and not handed over in person.
– Standard hygiene and washing hands frequently is a must.
– Avoid sharing basic necessities like towels and utensils.
– When using tissues after coughing or sneezing, dispose them into a plastic bag and immediately wash your hands with soap and water.
– At home, maintain at least six feet distance from other members of the family.
– Put laundry and other essentials you have used in a plastic bag and wash them only after you have tested negative for COVID-19 after the period of self-quarantine is over.
– Also, ask family members to leave food outside your door. Try using a separate bathroom, if possible. But if there is no such provision, ensure you clean it thoroughly and regularly after every use.
Here’s why it is important for you to isolate yourself, even if you have an iota of a chance of being infected
As per a study published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, researchers have now found that the time between cases in a chain of transmission is less than a week.
They have also found that over 10% of patients are being infected by someone who has the virus but does not show symptoms.
Such new discoveries aimed at better understanding COVID-19 makes instances of self-quarantine more important.