Editorial: People at forefront of battle against coronavirus


ABU DHABI, 13th March 2020 (WAM) - Follow health and hygiene protocols laid down by WHO and governments, the English language daily 'Gulf News' urged in an editorial today.

With Covid-19 being declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, there’s understandably a lot of anxiety, panic and paranoia around the world over the rapidly spreading virus.

But panic and paranoia will neither prevent the spread of the virus nor help with combating it effectively.

Social distancing measures, cancellation of marquee public events, ban on large gatherings and swiftly setting up vast new medical facilities are all part of those same efforts.

In some cases, the measures might not be as systematic or drastic as they ought to be and the WHO has urged global governments to step up containment efforts as the number of worldwide cases topped 125,000 and the death toll crossed 4,600.

But the ultimate success of all these measures will depend on people because they are at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus every day in every country. This is a war that hinges on their sensible behaviour. And that’s why it’s critical for everyone that includes all of us to fulfil their part of the responsibility.

Avoiding all non-essential travel is one such step that we can follow for the time being, especially to high-risk countries, until the global situation improves. That bucket-list trip to Timbuctoo can wait for a while, and it’s vital to adhere to travel guidelines issued by respective countries.

While it’s safe to fly out if you absolutely need to, this will help minimise the risks of spreading infections, especially among the more vulnerable section of the population.

Similarly, panic-buying of hand sanitisers, spray disinfectants and wet wipes is irresponsible let’s remember that for any of us to remain safe and infection-free, it’s equally important for our friends and neighbours to be infection-free too! And the best way to do that is to follow the health and hygiene protocols laid down by WHO and governments and remain vigilant at all times. Since the symptoms for coronavirus are very similar to the common flu, it’s essential that we don’t ignore any cough and cold conditions and take adequate precautions while commuting or interacting with others.

With such simple but critical steps and avoiding unwarranted risks, we will win the battle against coronavirus.

WAM/Hassan Bashir