Wednesday, June 03, 2020

FOR YOUR SAFETY: Key statistics, advice from doctors on Covid-19

Mar 30. 2020
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By THE NATION

Prince Songkla University infectious disease doctor Prof Khachornsakdi Silpapojakul provides important Covid-19 statistics and advice, including the percentage of infection, the effectiveness of masks, and places and things which can attract the dreaded virus.

Here are his statistics:

* At least 4-14per cent of elders aged 60 and above who have contracted Covid-19 have died, while those aged 15 and younger have not got pneumonia from the virus.

* Covid-19 patients with mild or severe symptoms accounted for approximately 93 per cent and 7 per cent of cases, respectively.

* Most patients cough and have fever on the fifth day of infection, and start to suffocate on the tenth day. Only 4 per cent of patients who initially had nasal discharge were infected by the virus.

* Ten seconds of holding hands can lead to a 70% chance of infection.

* There is a 50 per cent possibility of infection if persons sit together for 10 hours, or when a person is a metre from another.

* However, a person will not be infected if he/she is separated from others at a distance of 4 to 5 metres, according to the World Health Organisation. WHO has advised a 2-metre distance.

* Initially, 41 per cent of Wuhan residents became infected with Covid-19 after visiting a hospital. “So please do not visit a hospital for unnecessary cases,” Khachornsakdi said.

* Patients wearing masks can reduce the spread of the virus by 90 per cent.

* Surgical masks and N95 masks can prevent Covid-19 from spreading by 56 per cent and 66 per cent respectively, and if the edges of these masks are taped, this can prevent the virus from spreading by 95 per cent and 99 per cent respectively. The doctor recommended using micropore tape because it hurts less than transpore or other tapes when in contact with the skin, while he preferred using a face shield during an operation.

Meanwhile, another doctor, Theeraphap Tanisaro, said that N95 masks can be reused if they are worn with a face shield and disinfected after use.

“If you are afraid that the virus may stick to the mask, you can wear another layer of surgical mask. We believe this method may be useful if there is a shortage of N95 masks,” he said.

Khachornsakdi warned that elevators could become a dangerous place if they were used to move Covid-19 patients. He advised using your foot, shoulder, or back, or calling to other people to open the doors from outside.

“If negative-pressure rooms are not sufficient, patients must be placed near windows and fans used to blow the interior air outside,” he advised.

“The patients’ ward must be separated into two zones – a contaminated zone holding patients and a coordination zone for paperwork.”

Khachornsakdi said it is not necessary to use alcohol to disinfect equipment – just using detergent, any cleaning solution or UV steriliser can act as effective disinfectants.

“The virus often exists on computers, keyboards, tables and door knobs,” he also warned.

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