Coronavirus has taken the world by grip, affecting over 50 countries since its discovery in Wuhan City, China. Countries have now switched from preventive mode to full survival mode as there has been an increase in number of confirmed cases and deaths resulting from the disease. Public places like stadiums, schools, clubs, gyms, and the likes have been temporarily closed down so as to reduce the spread of the disease which has caused global panic. WHO has declared the disease ‘pandemic’ and plans have been put to place worldwide to contain the spread.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent the coronavirus disease which is also known as COVID-19, and the best way to stay clear of this illness is to avoid being exposed to it. There is a reason why public gatherings have been banned in most affected countries but more personally, there are some laid-down steps by health organizations to prevent the risk of being exposed to this virus.

People with healthy immune system will most likely recover from the symptoms of COVID-19. However, older people and people with pre-existing chronic illnesses will experience severe symptoms like pneumonia, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and even death.

There are ways to protect yourself from contracting coronavirus, and here are the 10 most effective ways as advised by World Health Organization (WHO).

1. Wash your hands frequently

This is one of the basic steps to take as a precaution. Practicing good hygiene is a good way to combat contagious diseases which also includes flu. In the case of coronavirus, washing your hands regularly with alcohol-based hand sanitizers helps kill viruses that may be on your hands. If a sanitizer seems far-fetched, just opt for the more popular soap and water, and remember to scrub for 20 seconds.

2. Practice respiratory hygiene

Viruses can be spread by droplets that are produced during cough or sneeze, and the coronavirus is not an exception. To protect yourself and others around you, cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose tissues off immediately they’re used to cover mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing.

3. Avoid touching your face unless they’re washed

This is a very important steps and it might seem a bit difficult for people to follow because the thought of not touching the face seems unfathomable as most people are already used to it. However, the exposure of the hands to many surfaces means they can pick up viruses anytime and once they’re contaminated, can transfer the virus to the eyes, nose or mouth which are the main channels which the virus can enter the body through.

4. Maintain social distancing

The liquid droplets produced by cough or sneeze of an infected person may contain the virus which is why you need to maintain at least a distance of 6ft between you and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. If you’re too close to them while they cough or sneeze, you can breathe in the droplets which includes the COVID-19 if the person coughing has already been infected.

5. Avoid close contact with sick people

Don’t go out there putting yourself in the way of the threat posed by this virus by keeping a close contact with people who are sick. If you’re in a region or country where this virus is quickly spreading, you need to seriously avoid close contact with sick people. This is important especially for people who have a high chance of contracting this virus easily (old people and people with underlying sicknesses).

6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

To reduce the risk of contracting this disease, you need to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, including tables, counter tops, handles, phones, keyboards, toilets, sinks, desks, doorknobs, etc. This goes along with regularly keeping your hands clean just in case you touch any of these surfaces without you having them disinfected.

7. Stay informed on new developments of the virus

COVID-19 has been a major global news story since its outbreak in China, and has even garnered more attention since spreading into different countries across the world. Rumors will be shared but it is wise to confirm from trusted sources and only trust information provided by them. Also make sure you follow your country’s page on social media platforms as they’ll be doing all they can to keep people updated on the latest developments.

8. Be prepared to adapt

Most countries have already implemented lockdown by asking companies to urge their staff to work from home; meaning that you might need to deal with the frustration of having to stay indoor all day if need be. It is advisable to stock up food stuff and drugs if you have any illness you’re currently treating as shops have already being shut down in most countries. Adapting to this kind of situation could be difficult but having it at the back of your mind that it is for the greater good will help you get through it.

9. Stay at home when you feel sick

Majority of people who catch this virus will not need to see health professionals because their symptoms will be mild and might even go away after a few days with the right treatment. But in case you develop any of the symptoms related to those of COVID-19, stay at home and make it your own way of protecting people who are vulnerable; people whose systems might not be able to naturally fight the virus off.

10. Follow strictly, advice given by health professionals

International and local health professional are best placed to advise on how people can best protect themselves. Make sure you follow the instructions given by them.