We must all take responsibility


EVERYONE has a role to play. No one should shy away from their responsibilities. We must be willing to lend a helping hand to others not only for global peace and harmony to prevail but also for the progress of society at large.

For the Covid-19 outbreak, certainly all hands must be on deck. It has almost become a pandemic in a short span of time with several tens of thousands of cases in different parts of the world. Never-theless, there have been appropriate responses by most governments globally to contain the infections.

While contaminated surfaces majorly aid disease transmission, it is mostly spread through respiratory droplets from an infected person coughing, exhaling or sneezing.

The situation in Malaysia, fortunately, continues to improve with more Covid-19 patients not only fully recovered but also discharged, according to the Health Ministry’s director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

In facing the outbreak, health facilities should not only strengthen the mechanisms for early detection and case isolation but they also need to constantly implement optimum-level infection prevention and control measures.

Since the exact nature and mode of transmission of Covid-19 have yet to be comprehensively unravelled, it then requires that anyone showing mild to severe respiratory illnesses with other constitutional symptoms such as cough, fever and shortness of breath should endeavour, with a sense of responsibility, to do the following to prevent the spread of this illness to others:

> Monitor your symptoms and seek medical attention immediately.

> Use a separate bathroom, if possible.

> Wear a face mask when you are in the company of others.

> Advise other people around you to wear a face mask.

> Separate yourself from other people in your household or neighbourhood.

> Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Discard the used tissues properly in a lined rubbish bin.

> Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after coughing or sneezing.

> Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

> Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.

> Avoid sharing household items with other people in your home.

> Do not go out to public areas or use public transportation. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care.

> Call ahead prior to visiting your doctor and give the healthcare provider all the necessary information so they can take the correct steps to keep other people from getting infected.

And for people with no symptoms, prevention, as they say, is better than a cure.

We should endeavour, with a sense of responsibility, to do the following:

> Avoid being in close contact with people showing Covid-19 symptoms.

> Maintain at least a 1m distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

> Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.

> Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after touching public objects like handrails, lift buttons, and so on.

> Eat only properly cooked animal meat.

DR IDRIS ADEWALE AHMED

Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Natural Products Research and Drug Discovery, Universiti Malaya

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