COVID-19 prevention

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - how to prevent

Protective measures against COVID-19

Flattening the curve

To prevent infection and to slow transmission of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), do the following:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub;
  • Maintain at least 2 meter distance between you and other people;
  • Avoid touching your face;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing;
  • Stay home if you feel unwell;
  • Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.

The Fight for PPE Persists

Protective masks

Frontline health workers report a frustrating return to shortages of protective gear.

The White House’s suggestion? Reuse their face masks and personal protective equipment, reports Fox News, citing Vice President Mike Pence’s comments yesterday.

National Nurses United expressed alarm over the persistent shortages and message to reuse their gear. "We’re five months into this and there are still shortages of gowns, hair covers, shoe covers, masks, N95 masks," says its president, Deborah Burger.

Reopening Followed By Resurgence

reopening

Lockdowns are winding down even as coronavirus cases continue to rise in at least 20 US states, NPR reports. And the US has now reached 2 million confirmed cases—a chilling milestone.

But the uptick is uneven. While some early hot-spots like New York are seeing a sustained decline in cases, hospitalizations are rising in others.

Texas—among the first states to begin reopening—saw record hospitalizations this week. And Arizona, which has the highest per capita rate in the US, has drawn national attention. The state is averaging 1,000+ cases per day this week.

What the Spanish flu can teach us about making face masks compulsory

Red Cross nurses in San Francisco, 1918.

Should people be forced to wear face masks in public? That’s the question facing governments as more countries unwind their lockdowns. Over 30 countries have made masks compulsory in public, including Germany, Austria and Poland. This is despite the science saying masks do little to protect wearers, and only might prevent them from infecting other people.

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, has nonetheless announced new guidelines advising Scots to wear masks for shopping or on public transport, while the UK government is expected to announce a new stance shortly. Meanwhile, US vice president Mike Pence has controversially refused to mask up.

New study questions the effectiveness of masks against SARS-CoV-2

masks

Research published at the beginning of April casts serious doubts about the effectiveness of both surgical and cloth masks in preventing the spread of infectious SARS-CoV-2 particles.

In an effort to find more ways of slowing the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers and public health officials around the world have been debating whether using face masks in public might help.

This is a long and fraught debate, and international specialists and decision makers have not reached a consensus.

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