Hyderabad: Doctors and health professionals have backed Telangana chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao for his remarks that the citizens need to learn to live with COVID-19.

Doctors, however, have pointed out that strict precautions need to be followed so that there is no chance of fresh clusters of COVID-19 breaking out after employees begin to go back to work on May 19.

“Discovering a vaccine for COVID-19 will take months because various mutations of the novel coronavirus exist. Studies have found out that there are at least ten different mutations of the same virus and developing a vaccine will have to take all those factors into account. So, it is safe to say that you have to live with this virus for the next six months to one year,” said Dr. P.A. Ramani of Andhra Medical College.

‘Lifting lockdown does not mean back to normal life’

According to health care professionals, one’s workspace needs to be re-oriented especially in the time of social distancing. “Crowded cabins are a big no-no. Companies have to make arrangements that only half of the employees are coming to the office at a time. Tables and commonly used surfaces need to be sanitized and cleaned once every two hours because COVID transmits through droplets. Floor cleaning is also a must” said the doctor.

Dr. Phanidhar Polavarapu, General Secretary of Indian Medical Association (AP State), said those with high co-morbidities (presence of one or more disease) should take extreme care. “Those with diabetes, hypertension should better not venture outside. Habits like smoking, drinking need to be put on hold at least for those with high-risk comorbidities,” he said.

‘Boost your immunity, ensure physical activity’

“Vitamin C and Vitamin B complex are known to boost your immunity. People need to ensure the intake of nutritious food. But they shouldn’t fall for these myths like having garlic or adding pepper to soup to ‘increase immunity’. A healthy diet rich with vitamins is enough to improve one’s immunity. Also, make sure people do some physical activity and exercises,” said Dr. Ramani.

Dr. Rakesh Mishra, Director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) said: “We have lived with the influenza virus. So we just have to find a way to live with COVID-19 as well. The practices of social distancing need to be made a part of our life. With time, most people will be able to boost their immunity and be able to get cured of COVID-19 even if they get infected. We have to look for 6 months to one year with COVID minimum.”

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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