Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions
With 593 infected cases and 13 deaths across India, the government of India is taking all the necessary measures to combat the deadly coronavirus or COVID-19. Due to the fast-spreading of the novel virus, 80 districts are under lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. In addition to this, the Indian government has also set up national helpline numbers that will be functional 24*7 along with a dedicated WhatsApp group to create awareness and has urged the people to stay indoors. Since the term 'Coronavirus' has arisen, people are searching more and more about the virus, its treatments, sources, etc. Here, in this article, we have listed frequently asked questions on the deadly disease to avoid all kind of rumours.
Question- What is 2019 Novel Coronavirus?
Answer- 2019 Novel Coronavirus or 2019-nCoV or COVID-19, is a new virus that is first identified in Wuhan, China. It is named novel as it has not been previously identified.
Question- What is the source of COVID-19?
Answer- At present, the exact source of COVID-19 has not been identified. Coronavirus is a large family of viruses, causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals. Many patients infected with coronavirus in Wuhan, China had some links with the seafood and animal market. This linkage suggests that the coronavirus has emerged from an animal source.
Question- What are the initial symptoms of the coronavirus?
Answer- Currently, the symptoms for patients with coronavirus include acute onset of fever, cough and difficulty in breathing.
Question- How does the coronavirus spread?
Answer- Since it is a novel coronavirus, the modes of transmission of the virus are unclear. The coronavirus is expected to have emerged from an animal source but is now spreading from one person to another. It is thought to have happened when a person infected with the coronavirus coughs or sneezes.
Question- What are the measures taken by the Government of India so far for the COVID-19?
Answer- The Government has set up national helpline numbers that are functional 24*7. In addition to this, the government has also set up a dedicated WhatsApp group to spread awareness regarding the deadly coronavirus. Also, the government is updating the latest information such as the number of people infected, deaths, etc. on its official website.
Question- Is there any vaccine which can protect people from coronavirus?
Answer- No, currently there is no vaccine available which can provide protection against novel coronavirus.
Question- Is it safe to travel to countries having confirmed cases of coronavirus, such as China?
Answer- Avoid non-essential travels to any of the affected countries. In case, the travel is unavoidable, then follow the below-mentioned health measures:
1- Observe good personal hygiene.
2- Monitor your health closely.
3- In case you are not feeling well, seek medical advice.
4- If you feel sick while travelling, inform the airline cabin crew about your illness and ask for a mask.
5- Check Travel advisory issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India before travelling to any of the affected countries.
Question- Are there any treatments available?
Answer- No, currently there are no specific treatments available to cure the novel coronavirus but the infected people should take supportive care to get relief from the symptoms.
Question- How can one protect himself from the novel coronavirus?
Answer- Currently, there is no treatment available to cure the novel coronavirus. Therefore, all non-essential travels must be dropped off. In addition to this, wash your hands frequently with soap and cover your mouth while coughing and sneezing. Observe good personal hygiene.
Question- Is there any list of affected countries available?
Answer- Yes, it is available on the official website of the World Health Organization (WHO) and is updated timely.
Question- What should I do if I had close contact with coronavirus infected person?
Answer- In case, you had close contact with a person who is a confirmed case of coronavirus, then monitor your health for 28 days starting from the last day of contact. Observe yourself for symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing. If any of these symptoms arise, visit the nearest health facility.
Question- Should I get a test done for novel Coronavirus?
Answer- If a person develops acute onset of high fever, cough, shortness of breath then he must visit the nearest health care facility immediately.
Questions- Is the novel coronavirus like SARS?
Answer- SARS is a coronavirus that was identified in 2003 and belongs to the same large family of viruses as the novel coronavirus. Therefore, SARS and the novel coronavirus are distantly related. Both viruses are capable of causing severe disease. However, they have important differences based on current information. Most importantly, the novel coronavirus does not appear to transmit easily between people while the SARS virus was much more transmissible.
These are some frequently asked questions on the novel coronavirus. The government is doing its level best in curbing this disease. We as responsible citizens must not fall target for the WhatsApp forwards or any message doing rounds on the social media. Before sharing any information regarding the coronavirus, confirm it with the official sources first. Also, you must seek help from the official helpline numbers (a link to the same is given above) and dedicated WhatsApp group, in case of any queries regarding the deadly coronavirus.