As a part of Central Government's Unlock 1.0, restrictions have been eased to allow people to go back to their normal routine. People can now step out of their houses, and go to work, travel, as long as social distancing norms and specific restrictions by state governments are followed.
But will it be possible to get back to normalcy as we knew pre-March 2020? Speaking to BOOM, Dr Giridhar Babu, Professor and Head of Lifecourse Epidemiology, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) outlined the precautions that one will have to to take before stepping out for work or travel.
According to Babu, the most important precautions to follow are wearing a mask and maintaining social norms of social distancing. "Wearing a mask and following norms of social distancing reduces the chances of transmission by more than 50%," said Dr Giridhar Babu.
About the sources of transmission of the disease, he said, "It is the symptomatic patients who are mostly known to spread the infection. There might be a lot of asymptomatic (people) who have tested positive, but the evidence as of now doesn't suggest that they are spreading the disease."
COVID-19 is contracted by coming into contact with respiratory droplets which are either sneezed or coughed. "If you sneeze, then the droplets can travel up to 6 meters, and that's why these two precautions are important," he added.
Should guests be allowed to enter residential complexes? Dr Giridhar Babu said, "If everyone wears a mask in the common area, the chances of contracting the virus are less than having a road traffic injury."
For office settings, it is advised that social distancing norms are followed, and wearing a mask is mandatory. This will help decrease the chances of transmission even if the office is poorly ventilated. "At least keep a 2-arm distance, and if someone is in that space, then both of you should wear a mask," he added.
As for travelling, Dr Babu said that wearing a mask and practising social distancing are very important, even if it is a small, crowded airport. "One of the safest settings is when you are within the aircraft. The air conditioning system is such that you can get rid of the virus."
Also Read: COVID-19: Key Data Points You Should Look Out For
Dr Giridhar Babu admits that though the cases in India are still at a high number (1,33,632 confirmed active cases as of 10 May), but says the intensity of the disease will continue to decrease.
"Once there is a peak in transmission, the cases will go down, based on several projections, the peak might be be around mid-July. But there's no need to worry since we're handling the cases well. We need to get on with our work, ensuring that these minimum precautions are taken," he said.
Catch the full interview on YouTube or click on the link here.
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