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Important FAQs that the experts answered

Coronavirus: use a disinfectant with an alcohol content of 70-80%


  • The whole hand washing process should take about a minute
  • Wash your hands as often as possible
  • Avoid going to crowded places and wear a mask when you’re out

Two people died from the deadly coronavirus in India. The second death was reported in Delhi. It was from a 68-year-old woman who had come in contact with her son who had contracted the coronavirus after being in Switzerland and Italy last month. The 76-year-old man in Karnataka was the first death of COVID-19, the state’s health minister confirmed Thursday. In mainland China, 3,176 people died on Friday. Since the infection was first detected in December 2019, over 134,300 people have been infected in 121 countries and territories. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the epidemic as a pandemic.

Coronavirus: common questions our experts answered

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about coronavirus that our experts have answered:

1. What is the correct way to wash your hands? How often and how long?

Washing your hands with soap and water should last about a minute. Use a timer or count from one to 10, in each of the following steps:

  • Wet your hands with water and apply enough soap to cover all surfaces of the hand. Let the water run evenly to avoid touching the tap later.
  • With soap, rub your hands palm to palm, to get a good amount of foam. Rub your right palm over the back of your left hand with your fingers intertwined and vice versa. Rub again palm by palm, fingers intertwined.
  • Rub the back of your fingers on opposite palms with your fingers intertwined. Repeat this action for each hand. Rub rotationally, left thumb tight in the palm of the right hand and vice versa.
  • To clean the fingertips, rotate back and forth with the fingers of the right hand in the palm of the left hand and vice versa.
  • Rinse your hands thoroughly with running water.
  • Dry your hands thoroughly with a disposable towel. If the tap is not elbow operated, use this towel to close the tap without touching it directly. Your hands are now clean and safe.

When should you clean your hands?

– Before, during and after food preparation.

– Before eating food.

– Before and after the treatment of a sick person.

– After using the bathroom.

– After changing diapers or cleaning a child who used the bathroom.

– After blowing your nose, cough or sneeze.

– After touching animals, pet food or animal waste.

– After touching the trash.

If you don’t have immediate access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based disinfectant.

Source: WHO

Read also: How effective are hand sanitizers in coronavirus prevention? The doctors explain

2. What type of hand sanitizer should be used?

Dr. Laxman Jessani (consultant, infectious diseases, Apollo hospitals, Navi Mumbai): the disinfectant must have 70-80% alcohol. This information is available on the back of disinfectants.

3. Is it important to dry your hands before applying any hand sanitizer?

Dr. Jessani: when you apply a disinfectant, it should evaporate, only then will it be effective. You don’t have to wash your hands after using a disinfectant. Hands should be dry when using a disinfectant.

4. Should gyms be avoided? Even if they are not crowded? If so, why? If I do, what precautions should I take?

Dr. Jessani: It is not necessary to avoid going to the gym. Once you’re back, be sure to take a bath and wash your hands, etc. When in the gym, make sure that the surface of the machines you are working on is clean. It is not necessary to clean them every time with an alcohol-based cleaner or disinfectant, this can be done at the beginning of the session and at the end.

5. Should I skip a visit to the dentist for the moment?

Dr. Jessani: No.

Read also: Coronavirus Outbreak: 5 things you need to know

6. Should I avoid taking my child to the park and playgrounds?

Dr. Jessani: No. When you come back, be sure to clean yourself and your child. In addition, it is important to stay dry.

7. Can any case of coronavirus lead to death?

Dr Sharad Joshi (chief consultant, pulmonology, super specialist hospital Max, Vaishali): No, if someone suffers, the patient does not need to die. The mortality rate is only 3%. About 80% of cases show no serious illness. The chances of death from 3 to 4% are higher in people who already suffer from health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease or any other chronic health condition.

8. Can anyone get coronavirus from food?

Dr. Joshi: No, it’s a misconception that Chinese or non-vegetable food can transfer coronavirus.

9. Who is at greater risk of coronavirus?

Dr Joshi: It can interest anyone. It can pass from an infected person to a healthy individual through droplets. If there is a virus transfer from an infected person, it can affect anyone.


Coronavirus is contagious and can spread from person to person
Photo credit: iStock

10. Can coronavirus affect pregnancy?

Dr Joshi: There is no data to support the effect of coronavirus on pregnancy. This virus was first reported in humans. No specific data or research can support the side effects of coronavirus on pregnancy.

11. Can children easily catch coronavirus?

Dr. Joshi: Coronavirus can affect anyone. Children have a higher transmission rate while attending multiple meetings such as school, lessons, parties or while playing.

Read also: Coronavirus: AIIMS director lists guidelines for hand washing

12. Should I wear a mask when I’m out?

Dr Joshi: The use of hand sanitizer and mask to prevent coronavirus has been recommended, but it is not necessary to be alarmed or abused. Anyone with symptoms should only wear a mask. Someone with a travel history should also wear a mask.


Wear a mask if you have a travel history of places with confirmed coronavirus cases
Photo credit: iStock

13. Should you be tested if you have symptoms but no travel history to places with coronavirus?

Dr. Joshi: It is important not to panic. Sometimes these can be flu symptoms or it can be just a cold. 80% of cases are mild, therefore, you should only undergo the test in two conditions: someone with a travel history and those who have severe symptoms such as breathing problems or diarrhea.

(Dr. Laxman Jessani is a consultant, infectious diseases, Apollo hospitals, Navi Mumbai)

(Dr. Sharad Joshi is principal consultant, pulmonology, super specialist hospital Max, Vaishali)

Disclaimer: This content, including the board, provides general information only. It does not in any way replace qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor for more information. NDTV assumes no responsibility for this information.


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