The strain of coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 and the disease that it causes, COVID-19, has gradually spread around the world and therefore, preventative measures are critical, especially for those who are more vulnerable to coming into contact with the virus.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), groups most at risk of serious illness are the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease and lung disease.
According to the WHO, you can take preventative measures against contracting the virus by:
Avoiding close contact with those who are sick, when possible. (At least one metre is advised).
Wearing masks, gloves and protective clothing in a healthcare setting. (When wearing a mask, try not to touch it other than to remove it or position it correctly).
Handwashing, with soap and water or using an alcohol-based rub if your hands are not visibly dirty.
Further to this, the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) also suggest:
Staying home when you feel ill.
To try not to touch your nose, eyes and mouth. If unavoidable, rather use the back of your hand but ideally, wash your hands before and after touching your face.
Wipe and “disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.”
Wear a non-medical cloth mask in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. (See https://youtu.be/tPx1yqvJgf4 for a video on how to make your own face covering).
If national and local authorities recommend social distancing, it is important to follow their guidelines. The ECDC refers to social distancing as the action taken to minimise contact with other individuals; these measures aim at reducing disease transmission and thereby the pressure on health services.