Dr Tabrez Ahmad, Pro Vice Chancellor & Dean, School of Law, Galgotias University: Prevention is better than Cure from COVID-19

Dr Tabrez Ahmad

It’s challenging to know at early stages when you are infected by the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease. There is a most common and rare symptom loss of smell that could signal you must be tested. According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch, the virus could ultimately infect between 40% and 70% of the population worldwide. Some people might show no symptoms at all but many of those cases would be mild, while the prospect of being infected with a new virus can be devastating. The most symptoms are fever, coughing and shortness of breath. These symptoms usually appear between two days and two weeks of exposure to the virus. Doctors recently added “loss of smell” as a potential symptom that may show up alone without any other symptoms. As the coronavirus outbreak continues to accelerate globally creating serious worry among people.

As COVID-19 is an infectious disease and grows faster among the people coming in close contracts. Therefore, the social distancing and self-isolation have come out as the best methods to avoid the fast spread of the disease. Most of the countries adopted the methods of lock-down to avoid the community transmission to control the disease.

Even after all the protective measure the disease is still fast spreading globally and creating fear and worry in the entire world as till now there is no direct medicine to cure the decrease. Therefore keeping in mind the current situation it is recommended that each person should take proper care about himself and his family and stay at home to save lives.

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to accelerate in the U.S., cleaning supplies are disappearing off the shelves and people are worried about every subway rail, kitchen counter and toilet seat they touch. A new analysis found that the virus can remain viable in the air for up to 3 hours, on copper for up to 4 hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel up to 72 hours. This study was originally published in the pre print database medRxiv on March 11, and now a revised version was published March 17 in The New England Journal of Medicine. What’s more, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was found on “a variety of surfaces” in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic people who were infected with COVID-19 on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, up to 17 days after the passengers disembarked, according to a new analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, this was before disinfection procedures took place and “data cannot be used to determine whether transmission occurred from contaminated surfaces,” according to the analysis. In other words, it’s not clear if the viral particles on these surfaces could have infected people. Another study published in February in The Journal of Hospital Infection analyzed several dozen previously published papers on human coronaviruses (other than the new coronavirus) to get a better idea of how long they can survive outside of the body.[2]

The new coronavirus spreads mostly through person-to-person contact within about a 6-foot (1.8 meters) radius, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People with COVID-19, which is the disease caused by the coronavirus, spread viral droplets, particles through coughing and sneezing. The particles can land, on the face, in the mouth or nose of those nearby or by touching a surface where the virus has recently landed and then touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes. Fortunately, ethanol, hydrogen-peroxide or bleach-based cleaners are effective at killing those coronaviruses that do survive on surfaces. Unlike some extremely contagious pathogens, the virus is not thought to spread via smaller droplets that can remain airborne for long periods. In a study of the stool samples of those diagnosed with COVID-19 found that viral particles in those stools looked viable under a microscope. “This means that stool samples may contaminate hands, food, water, etc.,” the China CDC wrote in the report. For instance, if a person did not wash their hands after touching a surface contaminated with infected stool residue, there is a chance they could become infected if they touch their eyes, nose or mouth with their hands, Live Science previously reported. To avoid catching the new coronavirus, health officials recommend avoiding close contact with people who are sick. A face mask is not a substitute for staying home when you are sick, Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, recommends avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Frequent hand-washing — 20 seconds, with soap and water — and 60%-95% alcohol-based hand sanitizers can kill the virus.[3]

As per the Journal of the American Medical Association, as many as 98% of COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized had a fever, between 76% and 82% had a dry cough, and 11% to 44% reported exhaustion and fatigue. As per the current WHO ( World Health Organisation ) reports the coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 75,000 people worldwide, most of them in Europe and USA. Most affected nations have called for complete lockdown to stop spread of the deadly virus.

The WHO said on 25th March, 2020 that countries which have locked down their populations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus need to use the time to find and attack the virus.

With around 75,000 deaths globally, Italy is the most affected country with 16,523 and Spain 13341, USA 10871, France 8911, UK 5373, Iran 3739 and China 3331 deaths the country where the initial outbreak occurred. The United States has also seen the 10871 deaths but the highest number of infections crossing 4 Lakhs.

Coronavirus has now spread to over 205 countries across the world affecting billions of people. “Asking people to stay at home and shutting down population movement is buying time, and reducing pressure on health systems. On their own these measures won’t extinguish epidemics,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. [4]

Physicians work with state health departments and the CDC to determine who should be tested for the new virus. However, the CDC also recommends that people with COVID-19 or any respiratory illness monitor their symptoms carefully. If you become ill with the said symptoms and think you have been exposed to the virus, the CDC recommends calling your doctor first rather than traveling to a clinic worsening shortness of breath is reason to seek medical care, particularly for older individuals or people with underlying health conditions.

The disease appears to become more severe with age, with the 30- to 79-year-old age range predominating the detected cases in Wuhan, where the outbreak began, according to a study in JAMA. Children seem to be at less risk of suffering noticeable symptoms of the disease. However, a recent study of 2,000 children confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 found that 6% developed severe or critical illness. The detailed study is published in the March 16 issue of the journal Paediatrics.

In more serious cases of COVID-19, patients experience pneumonia, which means their lungs begin to fill with pockets of pus or fluid. This leads to intense shortness of breath and painful coughing.

Govts in various countries have taken right decision to lock down. This is one of the best strategy to control the further spread of the Corona Virus. But the problem is that few people in general not observing it seriously and taking it casual. As per the rampant growth of Coronavirus and affecting the serious health issues around the world and in India the social distancing and self-isolation is the best strategy to save yourself from Covid-19.

Therefore, the entire individuals globally in general are required to take necessary precautions and take good care of themselves and their near and dear ones to ensure well-being of their families and the society in large.Humanity has overcome many difficult challenges and together we can overcome.

Lockdowns are now imposed in several countries. But the people are required to follow the lock down seriously and ensure the following to save themselves form the infection of Coronavirus (Covid-19) and get the real benefits and satisfy the real objectives of the lock-down.

Family should identify only one adult in a family for going out. Only he or she should go out. NOBODY ELSE.

•ONE dress: Use only one dress and same dress every time you go out. Use full-length dress. Don’t mix this dress with your other dresses.

•ONE wallet: Use only one wallet. Don’t mix these currency, coins and cards with other which already are there at home.

•ONE shopping bag: Use only one and same shopping bag every time.

•ONE vehicle: Use same vehicle and key. Avoid public transportation.

•ONE go: Avoid going out multiple times. Finish all your work in one go.

Avoid taking mobile phone or restrict using it.

Avoid crowding and come back immediately once you finish your work.

Use your non – dominant hand or elbow to open the door or push the buttons.

Once you come back: Keep your dress, wallet, bags, keys in a separate bag. Do not mix with others.

We must embrace the social distancing and self-isolation, always wash our hands, face thoroughly before touching anything and anyone, and always use N-95 Masks. Clean our mobile phone surface with sanitizer.

We must remember that we CAN’T AVOID exposure but definitely we CAN severely reduce its spread and impacts to avoid community transmission. As the community, transmission has the potential to create havoc globally. If we can avoid the community transmission, we can definitely save the world from the most difficult time of the last two centuries.

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[1]About the Author: Dr.Tabrez Ahmad is a prolific speaker & keen researcher in Cyber law, IPR & Energy Law. Delivered Keynotes in, USA, UK, China, Japan, UAE, Egypt, Singapore, etc. Published more than 100 papers and delivered talks in more than 100 conferences. An active blogger, author and editor. By SSRN he is ranked among the Top Law Authors in the World. He is among the IP LEADERS-Top 100 most followed LinkedIn lawyers and ranked 13th in the world. Awarded “Top 50 IP Players of 2019” by IPR Gorilla USA.

[2]https://www.livescience.com/how-long-coronavirus-last-surfaces.html visited on 7th April, 2020.

[3]https://www.livescience.com/how-coronavirus-spreads.html Visited on 7th April, 2020.

[4]As per the Reports from India Today, 26th March, 2020.

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