Shillong: The Meghalaya government is on a mission to educate citizens about the “science beyond COVID” so that they can take precautions to prevent themselves from being infected by this contagious infection.
“We are on an ambitious plan to train people and let them become aware about the science beyond COVID, how it affects the body so that citizens can be better prepared to take precautions,” Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare, P. Sampath Kumar said on Friday.
Apart from the containment or lockdown measures, he said the Health and Family Welfare department is reaching out through health care workers, local headmen, community and faith-based leaders to educate residents about various scientific details about COVID-19.
Stating that COVID-19, in severe cases, causes inflammation of the lungs and subsequently there is a shortage of oxygen in the body, Kumar advised citizens to avoid getting into such critical stages by taking some preventive steps.
“Even if some people get to this critical stage, they shouldn’t panic and further take some measures to reduce the severity of the condition. There are some non-pharmaceutical measures being adopted if someone contracts the virus,” the top health official said.
Kumar said measures such as “steaming, proning position for breathing, taking warm water all the time and taking fluid so that the body is not dehydrated and having a good diet” are some of the non pharmaceutical measures being adopted.
“There are some proven anti-viral medications are being used to fight the virus and some of these measures are being recommended so that people don’t become serious and need hospitalization and need oxygen,” Kumar said.
Stating that health care workers are focusing to educate people about prevention and also treatment, Kumar underscored that early diagnosis and treatment is important so that the hospitals are not overwhelmed.
On prevention, Kumar said the lungs can be protected by wearing masks. “Each one of us can contain the virus by wearing a proper mask. Issued guidelines for mask wearing as containment,” he added.
The health official said a medical mask or a double mask is ideal in the present situation. The district administration has recommended an N 95 mask or surgical masks and discouraged use of cloth masks.
“If everyone follows these guidelines, this virus can be killed. Containment is essentially to isolate the virus so that can’t have any host to reproduce,” he added.