New Delhi: Actor Priyanka Chopra, who also happens to be a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador, through an Instagram Live conversation put forward her followers’ questions and concerns about the novel coronavirus to the World Health Organisation (WHO) experts. WHO General-Director Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Technical Lead Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, were part of Priyanka’s Instagram live conversation.
There is so much information circulating about Covid-19. And right now we’re all searching for clarity. My friends at @WHO and @glblctzn graciously brought the doctors working on the front lines here to give us answers straight from the experts. Please take some time to watch my IG Live with Dr. Tedros (General-Director at W.H.O.) and Dr Maria Van Kerkhove (Technical Lead for Covid-19) from @WHO, who answered some questions that so many of you sent in, Priyanka captioned the post.
More than 45,000 fans participated in the actor’s live session.
The first question for the WHO experts came from the actor’s husband, singer Nick Jonas, who asked,
I’m a type 1 diabetic and she’s asthmatic. We had fears early on about being exposed and what the effects would be for us. For anyone who’s immuno-compromised what extra precautions should they take?
To this Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove explained to the couple that out of all the cases across the globe, it has been observed that there are certain people who are more at risk for developing severe disease. She said,
Those are the individuals who have diabetes, cancer, and people of advanced age (over the age of 60). We need to ensure that you can limit your potential exposure to this virus as much as you can. But if there’s one message we can get across to young people across the globe is that you are not invincible. We have seen that there are people with underlying disease dying but we also se young people admitted to ICU. Everybody’s at risk because it is a new disease.
She said that to ensure prevention on COVID-19 if a person is out they should follow ‘the five’.
1. Wash your hands for 20 seconds. 2. Use your elbow if you have to sneeze or cough. 3. Don’t touch your face. 4. Keep your distance and 5. Stay home if you have symptoms. Additionally call your doctor immediately if you’re having trouble breathing, Dr. Kerkhove said.
Another follower mentioned the 21-day lockdown in India in the wake of the COVID-19. The question asked to the experts was,
India just implemented a 21-day lockdown in a country with 1.3billion people. There are many countries taking it seriously, but do you think that around the world countries and governments are doing enough?
To this, Dr. Tedros responded,
Physical distancing and the other measures are important but at the same time we have to test suspected cases, we have to isolate those cases, and we have to test contacts and isolate them too. Physical distancing is a defensive tactic but we need testing and isolating in order to be on the offensive.
When Priyanka raised another one of her followers’ question,
Can you catch the virus from the air?
Dr Maria said that the virus is not airborne but can be transmitted through droplets, “which are particles of liquids that come out of your nose when you cough or sneeze.”
She explained that this is the reason why it is important to sneeze into one’s elbow and to wash hands repeatedly.
“If I have recovered from COVID – 19, can I get it again,” was another question that Priyanka’s follower raised. The experts explained that as of now, they “don’t have the full picture of the virus” and added that “more than 100,000 of the 400,000 cases have recovered.”
Watch the the Live session here
After the live session, the actor uploaded another video on her Instagram where she undertook WHO’s #SafeHands hand washing challenge. In the video, the actor could be seen washing her hands with a song ‘wherever you are wash your hands, whoever you are wash your hands,’ that she explains her husband helped her write in the caption,
I accept the #SafeHands challenge @DrTedros. One of the main takeaways from our IG live chat yesterday was the importance of washing your hands properly. It’s a simple action that can help save lives and flatten the curve. And here’s a song to ensure you’re doing this for at least 20 seconds.