Coronavirus Scare: 'Is The Novel Virus Airborne? Are Office ACs Safe? Doctors AnswerDoctors explain about coronavirus precautions

New Delhi: Every day, India is seeing a spike in Coronavirus-related cases. On Wednesday, the total number of Coronavirus cases rose to 173 in the country, which is an increase of more than 18 cases in one day. Four people have already been reported dead, with the latest casualties reported from Punjab today (March 19) and Maharashtra on March 16 – the worst-hit state with 47 cases. Worldwide, more than 7,000 deaths have been reported and over 1 lakh, people are infected with the novel Coronavirus, according to the World Health Organisation that has been declared this a pandemic.

Also Read: With Limited Testing And Current Preventive Measures Can India Prevent Community Transmission Of COVID-19?

With more and more cases being confirmed, people have started to panic. Amid all the concerns related to the virus, NDTV speaks with Dr Vivek Nangia, Pulmonologist, Fortis Hospital and Oncologist Dr Dodul Mondal, from Apollo Hospital on Coronavirus scare and why it is being advised to people to stay in the at home as a precautionary measure.

Also Read: Are You Suffering From Cold, Flu Or Coronavirus? Doctors Explain How To Spot The Difference

Talking about if the virus is airborne and are office ACs safe in this point of time, Dr Vivek Gangia said,

We are living at a time when mostly all the outdoor spaces like offices, malls, gyms to name a few are equipped with centrally AC system, it is best to avoid going to such places. At the moment, this environment is risky as what happens is that in one room people are breathing in the same air, so if one person is infected, chances of others getting the infection are high as everyone is inhaling the same air.

Also Read: Are You Suffering From Cold, Flu Or Coronavirus? Doctors Explain How To Spot The Difference

Highlighting the steps offices or spaces using central AC system should take, Dr Nangia added,

It is very important to follow a few basic things such as make sure the room’s doors are kept open so that there is better ventilation. Moreover, floors/tables and other things are cleaned every now and then with sanitiser. Lastly, as a habit, every person should maintain strict personal hygiene which means they wash hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser, regularly. If there are symptoms of cough, cold and fever, a person should simply avoid going out and wear a mask, if possible so that others are not getting infected.

Dr Dodul Mondal added,

Coronavirus is not in the air – it can only be passed from one person to another via droplets from coughs or sneezes, sometimes these droplets from one’s mouth are not even visible and can stay in the surface it touches for few hours with the virus. So, it becomes important to maintain hygiene and take all precautions.

Also Read: Here’s What The Government Means When It Asks You To Practice Social Distancing As A Precaution Against COVID-19

He further said “Travelling with family members in a closed car space with AC on is safe but if even one person has a cough, viral or cold symptoms, avoid travelling for long hours. As in the closed space, the air will be the same which will be inhaled by every person, so chances of virus spreading are more.”

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