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COVID-19: Suspend tourism till temperature rises, DAK to Govt

File photo of DAK president Dr Suhail Naik

Srinagar, Mar 7: In view of the COVID-19 fear, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Saturday appealed the government to focus on screening of travelers at Airports and railway stations and training medical teams to combat the novel coronavirus.

In a statement issued here, President DAK Dr Suhail Naik said that they in touch with global health experts and it is important to recognize that COVID-19 is a new and concerning disease, but still outbreaks can be managed with the right response.


“The government should screen all the visitors coming to Kashmir at Airports, railway stations and on Srinagar-Jammu highway,” he said.

Dr Naik said in order to fight COVID-19 that has affected people in many countries, the Jammu and Kashmir government should suspend tourism till temperatures will rise and pandemic will come to halt.

He said that all sports activities, conferences should be suspended to save the asymptomatic population adding that morning prayers in schools should also be restricted.

He said in light of knowledge gained from Wuhan in China on the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical measures against COVID-19, like rapid detection, large scale case isolation and quarantine of contacts, the spread of virus can be contained.

DAK said that there has been a severe disruption to the global supply of personal protective gear. It demanded government for sufficient supply of masks and sanitizers.

In view of the suspected cases in Jammu and Kashmir and rise in cases across many countries DAK said that the government should focus on trainings and workshops for dedicated medical teams in all districts.

“There should be separate respiratory OPDs in all the hospitals. We advise people to not to visit hospitals for mild ailments or unnecessarily with patients,” DAK said.

DAK also requested both government and private schools to make available ample water taps and soaps for hand washing as a precautionary measure.

“We appeal parents to provide handkerchief or tissue papers to their kids. People should also restrict shaking hands or hug until the coronavirus is curtailed,” DAK said.

DAK said public must understand that they can even use their handkerchief to cover mouth and nose appealing people to use their handkerchief and don’t panic.

Important points to do

When to use mask:

If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.

Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.

Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

All masks of any type either N95 or surgical or medical masks are designed to be discarded within 8 hours after use and if we use them for prolonged time they can paradoxically increase risk of different respiratory infections.

Masks must be changed when they become wet with saliva or other bodily fluids, as they lose their protective properties.

Wash your hands frequently:

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Maintain social distance

Maintain at least 1 metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

At time of fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.