Indian Medical Association (IMA) has appealed to stop the panic reactions on corona epidemic. In statement, IMA said that this epidemic by no means is a situation which has not been faced earlier. SARS 1, Swine flu, Nipah etc were on the same scale and considerable experience tells us that awareness, self-precautions, contact tracing and self-isolation are the public health measures that we need to follow.
Hand washing has emerged as a simple tool to fight the community spread. Easy and universal, the practice of thorough hand washing with soap and water is perhaps the only way to stop the corona epidemic.
Masks for symptomless common people is not warranted. Healthcare workers and people with symptoms and possibility of droplet infection need to wear masks.
IMA appealed to the Government to classify the data of the epidemic and take appropriate action with clinical precision. Sharing of data on daily basis with the public who are clueless as to what is expected out of them, has created the panic across the country.
Doctors and healthcare personnel have responded with diligence and responsibility. Hospitals are open and functioning. They remain a silver lining in otherwise clueless situation for the common man.
IMA has appealed to every doctor to function as a source of credible information in their locality and instil confidence and trust.
- Self Hygiene: Wash your hands with soap and water as often as deemed necessary.
- Self-restraint: Do not post unconfirmed negative messages and pseudoscientific dogmas.
- Self-isolation: Self isolation was our survival strategy in yesteryears against waves of smallpox. If you are symptomatic with fever and cough isolate yourself at home.
In statement, IMA said doctor works in consonance with the Health authorities in all states. IMA has updated the doctors in all its branches across the country. IMA is in advanced state of preparations for a 24X7 Helpline for the public in Hindi and English. The details will be in public domain shortly.
IMA will organise a National Workshop (both live and in web) on Saturday 14.03.2020 at IMA headquarter, New Delhi for its members. It has also requested the Government to utilise COVID-19 opportunity to track cases of Tuberculosis and also to include hand hygiene in Swachh Bharat programme.