Hyderabad: The exemptions introduced during lockdown have given a lot of scopes for individuals to travel within Hyderabad and districts, leading to a stage of significant spread of SARS-C0V-2. In such situations where the cases are steadily rising, public health experts in Telangana have advised strict implementation of Non-Pharmacological Interventions (NPIs) to contain further spread of Covid-19 infections.
Senior health officials familiar with Covid-19 disease outbreak in the State said that isolating positive cases and strictly implementing NPIs like the use of masks, physical distancing and travel restrictions are need for the hour.
“At this stage of the pandemic, risk communication plays a major role in behaviour change among the public thereby mitigating the further spread of infection. People should be told about the need to follow NPIs, which are vital to check new infections,” says Director of Public Health and Family Welfare Dr G Srinivas Rao.
The NPIs measures have to be implemented and should be followed strictly in Hyderabad. “We are implementing vigorous contact tracing, strict quarantine measures, risk assessment, judiciously assessing the area of containment, strict perimeter control. However, all these measures will be successful only when the community takes precautions,” he said.
The State government has already released an ‘Always Mask On’ policy, which makes it mandatory for everybody to wear a mask before stepping out of the home. Even in offices, shops and commercial establishments like factories, wearing masks is mandatory.
“By wearing masks, you are not only protecting yourself but also protecting the entire community. Ever since the lockdown exemptions, we observed many people have stopped wearing masks, which is not at all a good idea,” he said.
Hand hygiene, masks, respiratory etiquette, surface and object cleaning, measures at workplace, making all attempts to avoid crowding, providing proper travel advice to the public on the risk of getting infected, isolation of sick patients and school closures are some of the effective NPIs that have to be implemented to contain fresh infections.
“Lockdown can’t be a permanent fixture in our lives and now there is a great need for all of us to learn to cohabit with coronavirus. For that to happen, we need to follow certain guidelines meticulously to protect ourselves and the community,” says Dr Srinivas Rao.
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