Protect yourself and loved ones: Prevention better than cure

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There are a lot of myths and misinformation about COVID-19, being shared online – including on how it spreads, how to stay safe, and what to do if you’re worried about having contracted the virus. Therefore it is important to distinguish where you should look for information and advice.

Chief Nurse of the National Hospital, Pushpa Ramyani De Soysa, comments about the steps that people can take to protect loved ones and establish family safety practices during this pandemic.

“Our country is at a decisive period now. If we take the necessary percussions and adhere to safety rules, we would be able to encourage anyone to be safe in these stressful times. Parents need to stress upon the importance of good health habits and cultivate them among children,” she said.

She also notes that healthy habits have been a part and parcel of our cultural upbringing. Some such habits have departed from our life due to modernization and changing lifestyles.

“Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water as frequently as possible. This needs to be done especially before preparing meals, eating and while you are out. Cough or sneeze into a tissue and dispose them into a wastepaper basket. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Such hygiene etiquette practices will stop the spread of the disease,” she advised.

She also says that instead of indulging in soft drinks and alcoholic beverages people should turn to king coconut water and traditional herbal drinks like Ranawara. Such beverages not only quench the thirst during this warm weather but are high in medicinal properties and keep diseases at bay.

“Flavour, colour, consistency, health-friendly and the ability to boost your immunity are what we expect from food. Therefore we need to add such items to our daily food intake. For example take Thebu leaves. They have many valuable health benefits. They are good for diabetes patients and can lower the blood sugar level. They can also stimulate appetite, control phlegm and bile, treat skin diseases, and control fever and cough.They also treat conditions like constipation, wheezing, skin rashes and intestinal worms with their anti-oxidant properties,” she said adding that adding that any drawbacks are yet to be discovered for adding such healthy green leaves or vegetables to your menu.

“We consume items like bread and noodles in our daily diet. These are not immunity boosters. You need to substitute such products with healthy and traditional meals from our local cuisine,” she stressed.

If someone in the household is feeling ill or is under investigation, it is important to keep him or her in a separate room and be separated from others as much as possible. The patient should be given separate toilet facilities if possible, and other household items. If it is difficult to give a separate bathroom to the patient, then let the patient use it after the other members of the household. Clean all surfaces thoroughly.

According to De Soysa, a good mindset too is needed to tackle this issue.

“You need to cleanse you whole system inside out for your wellbeing. Talk to your children and explain the situation and the importance of following such healthy habits calmly. Elaborate that we are living in a period with a higher prevalence of diseases. A healthy mentality matters in preventing diseases,” Ms. Pushpa Ramyani De Soysa concluded.