Health Desk: Amid global efforts to tackle the novel coronavirus epidemic, the World Health Organization has offered the following advice on basic protective measures.
1. Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty.
2. When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue. Discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
3. Maintain at least one-metre distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.
4. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, because if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.
5. Tell your health care provider if you have traveled in an area in China where the epidemic has been reported, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has traveled from China and has respiratory symptoms.
6. If you have mild respiratory symptoms and no travel history to or within China, carefully practice basic respiratory and hand hygiene and stay home until you are recovered, if possible.
7. As a general precaution, practice general hygiene measures when visiting live animal markets, wet markets or animal product markets. Ensure regular hand washing with soap and potable water after touching animals and animal products; avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with hands; and avoid contact with sick animals or spoiled animal products. Strictly avoid any contact with other animals in the market (e.g., stray cats and dogs, rodents, birds, bats). Avoid contact with potentially contaminated animal waste or fluids on the soil or structures of shops and market facilities.
8. Avoid consumption of raw or undercooked animal products. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.