New Delhi: In the backdrop of novel coronavirus outbreak, health experts have advised people against mass gathering for celebrating Holi so as to contain the spread of the deadly virus. AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Guleria said that it is advisable not to play Holi to avoid the spread of the viral respiratory infection. “Practicing all possible hand hygiene habits is the best way to keep ourselves safe. People should use N-95 masks to safeguard themselves from COVID19,” said Dr. Guleria.
As on March 9, the Union Health Ministry has declared 43 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the nation.
Senior Respiratory Physician and Chest Specialist, Dr Ashish Jaiswal said,
Most respiratory viruses spread through droplet infection and COVID 19 is no exception. In droplet infection, a healthy person gets infected when he comes in contact with the droplets of moisture expelled through cough and sneeze of an affected person.
Dr. Jaiswal said that it is important to stay at least six feet away from a person who is coughing or sneezing to keep oneself safe from the droplet infections and also advised not to play Holi this year.
Dr. Raman Kumar, President of the Academy of Family Physicians of India said,
There is no need to panic about COVID 19. Most patients recover with timely intervention. If you have any symptoms you should seek medical advice immediately.
He said that the fear around the virus is because of its rapid spread and added that Holi celebrations could spread the infection if any person with viral respiratory illness joins the celebrations.
Apart from the respiratory infection, doctors also said that Holi colours, which contain chemicals can also cause allergies and irritation to the skin.
Dr Vidushi Jain, Consultant dermatologist said,
In Holi, we put colours on each other to spread the message of universal brotherhood. This year, COVID 19 scare is so much that as a precautionary measure one should refrain from any unnecessary touch.