The rapid emergence of COVID-19 has created tremendous uncertainty in medicine. With the conflicting information daily, we still don’t know the ideal management strategy yet. Going through several literature with conflicting information on every new paper published, it is hard to say a definitive management protocol. Preventive measures seem to be the perfect solution until the date.
Nepal being a developing nation where we lack even basic health facilities in most parts of the country, lockdown seems to be the smart step to break the chain of transmission. Furthermore, the restriction has helped to plummet the curve indeed, however it has not zeroed the further infection. Thus, the very question arises here, despite the strict measures taken by the government why the transmission is still prevalent?
As Nepalese, we often have preconceptions that our friends and family are always safe and are not much of a concern
Regardless of the early cause of human-to-human transmission, the rate has now escalated despite all the preventive measures like lockdown, wearing masks in public places and social distancing.
As Nepalese, we often have preconceptions that our friends and family are always safe and are not much of a concern when it comes to social distancing and wearing a mask around. We reckon these rules are just meant to be for an unknown person rather than someone we know.
People don’t feel any hesitation even to share a cigarette if the person is known among them. For instance, some of my colleagues were directly exposed to the patient who turned out to be COVID positive; nevertheless, all of them came out negative. However, all of those doctors were wearing a KN95 mask.
We can’t overlook the factors such as viral load, amount of aerosol exposed but still, a symptomatic patient being exposed so near means very high chance to get infected, although non of the doctors were infected. Nonetheless, it does not mean there is very little to worry.
It can be said that the probability of getting infected is higher only if directly exposed to the aerosol or droplets, both not wearing masks whilst encounter. A recent study showed the chance of transmission from inanimate surfaces is minimal and only in instances where an infected person coughs or sneezes and someone touches the surface soon after. However, periodic disinfecting surfaces and use of gloves are reasonable precautions especially in hospitals or wherever possible.
As far as my views are concerned, the rate of transmission still occurring despite everything being shut down and less human to human contact is because of the blind idea we prevail that we are safe being around someone we know. Yet, the opposite is the case.
People wear masks and sanitize while meeting someone unknown or while buying groceries but fail to protect themselves with someone known and might be contagious. Thus, most importantly no matter whom the proper preventive measure is always mandatory for effective reduction to break the chain of transmission.
Dr. Darwin Lamichhane is a Consultant Anesthesiologist in Military Hospital, Pokhara.