With the first confirmed cases of coronavirus popping up in various parts of India, even reaching the national capital, every slight cough or sneeze is viewed with increasing concern. Whether it’s on the news, on our phones, or from our friends and families, health advice is flying around left, right, and center. Avoiding human contact forms a large part of these advisories, which is easier said than done in a city as densely populated as Delhi. There are still several tips and tricks that people can take to ensure that they don’t put themselves at any potential risk while taking public transport, the most common of which we’ve compiled below.
1. Hand Sanitation
We’re taught from a young age to keep our hands clean at all times, and it’s never been as important as it is now. Hand washing with soap consistently at certain “critical moments” during the day prevents the spread of many diseases, for example diarrhoea and cholera, which are transmitted through fecal-oral route. People can also become infected with respiratory diseases such as influenza or the common cold, for example, if they do not wash their hands before touching their eyes, nose, or mouth (i.e., mucous membranes), using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is the best way to go about if you don’t have access to soap and water as soon as you exit the Metro.
2. Limit Contact With Poles in The Metro
By the end of a long-drawn and tiring day at work, leaning against the metal poles or handrails in the Metro is an easy way to reduce some of the load. However, since they are touched by several commuters before you, this is the easiest way for the virus to spread. Avoid touching these poles to the best of your ability, but use a napkin to do so if you really need to and discard the napkin in the trash bin immediately afterward.
3. Stay Clear Of Your Face
As per an advisory from the CDC retaining your hands away from your face is quite important, whether you’re on public transport or off. In particular, the CDC advises avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, particularly.
However, should you feel the need to sneeze or cough at any time during your journey, it is just as important to cover your mouth when you do so.
4. Avoid People Who Are Sick
Avoiding people on the Metro who are constantly sneezing and coughing is another good idea. Just move to the far end of the carriage, or if possible, into a different section entirely. However, if there is no space to move, simply turn your back to the person coughing or sneezing.
5. Face Covers Are Not The Solution
Experts have said that wearing face masks is not an assured method of prevention against the coronavirus. It might even prove harmful, as people keep having to touch their faces while trying to adjust their masks during the day. Except you are sick, wearing a face mask should be avoided.
6. Avoid Traveling In Rush Hour
One of the most manageable ways to avoid coming into contact with several people is to avoid rush hour while traveling. Make adjustments to leave work sooner or later than a rush hour to keep the risk of infection to a minimum.
7. Don’t Hold Everything You Listen/Read
At this time of increased vigilance, there is a lot of incorrect information floating around, which causes more harm than good. At this time, the best thing you can do is to listen only to official sources and dismiss false reports.
Speaking of official sources, the Delhi government recently sent out a health advisory to the public, asking them to adhere to a list of dos and don’ts. Frequently washing your hands with soap and water, avoid crowded places, stay more than an arm’s length distance from sick persons, getting adequate sleep and rest, and drinking plenty of waterfalls under the list of things to do.
On the don’ts side, the Delhi government advises people not touch eyes, noses, or mouths of others with unwashed hands, not to hug, kiss, or shake hands while greeting people in public, not spitting in public places, avoiding excessive physical exercise, properly disposing of used napkins, and not touching surfaces usually used by public such as railings and gates.
In addition to this, a 24×7 control room has been established at DGHS (HQ), and people may contact it on the following numbers for any queries relating to the nCoV — 011-22307145, 22300012, 22300036.
Only a few simple steps could ensure your safety!