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Last Updated : May 20, 2020 10:58 AM IST | Source:

Reopening after lockdown: A checklist of precautions for you to be on the guard against coronavirus

India recently relaxed some guidelines as it announced the fourth round of the lockdown.


As India gradually relaxes lockdown rules, there must be a raft of questions whirring in your mind. Should you step out? Is it safe? What precautions must you do? The United States Centres for Disease Control (CDC) has answered some of these frequently asked questions to ensure prevention against COVID-19.  Here is a primer gathered from CDC guidelines to  help you stay prepared to get back into your routine.

Also Read: India's coronavirus lockdown 4.0 rules


What are the most common ways in which the virus spreads?

The virus is known to spread from person-to-person between people within six feet of each other, through respiratory droplets when a person with the virus sneezes or coughs, even those who do not show any symptoms.

What are the best tips to avoid getting infected?

A. Wash hands frequently, avoid close human contact, cover mouth and nose with a cloth face cover, and clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched

How do you ensure that hands are washed properly?

A. Follow 5 steps: Wet your hands, lather with soap and water, scrub for at least 20 seconds, rinse and then dry fully.  A sanitiser with 60 percent alcohol can be used when water is not available.

Is it necessary to wear a specific type of mask?

A. No, simple cloth face coverings are effective. Avoid surgical masks or N-95 respirators as they are critical supplies for healthcare workers.

How can face masks be kept clean?

A. The cloth face masks can be easily cleaned in a washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.

The University of Utah says cloth masks should be washed in 160°F water with soap or detergent and recommends soaking them for five minutes in a bleach solution.

Should children also wear face masks?

A. CDC recommends that everyone 2 years and older wear a cloth face covering that covers their nose and mouth when they are out in the community. Cloth face coverings should, however, not be put on babies or children younger than 2 because of the danger of suffocation.

Any other safety measures related to face masks?

A. Be careful not to touch eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.

What are the social distancing best practices?

A.  Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms' length) from other people, do not gather in groups and stay out of crowded places and mass gatherings.

Can I accept food from neighbours?

A. Home-cooked food should not be a problem but ensure social distancing guidelines are strictly followed.

Will microwaving or freezing my food kill the virus?

A. The FDA says there's no evidence of food packaging or food being associated with coronavirus transmission. There also isn't "direct data for a temperature-based cutoff for inactivation" for the virus, per the CDC.\

Can I receive mails, packages?

A. Although the virus is unlikely to be spread from domestic or international mail, products or packaging, it may be possible that people can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

What are the safety precautions for taking public transit?

A. Strictly adhere to social distancing norms. Use gloves if required, since surfaces that are frequently touch can be contaminated by body fluids.

How long should I self-isolate after testing positive?

A. CDC says people who've tested positive need to isolate at home for at least seven days after symptoms first appeared, wait at least 72 hours after the fever is gone, and hold off until respiratory symptoms have improved.

How are quarantine and isolation different?

A. Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others while isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected.

Is it possible to have flu and COVID-19 at the same time?

A. It is possible to test positive for flu (as well as other respiratory pathogens) and the virus that causes COVID-19 at the same time.

Can pets spread COVID-19?

A. At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low,

What should I ensure before resuming work from office?

A. Ensure there are temperature checks, ample supply of tissues, gloves when necessary, access to soap, clean running water, and drying materials or alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60 percent alcohol at their worksite.


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First Published on May 19, 2020 07:07 pm
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