Some tips for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic

On the morning of January 31, 2020 (Vietnam time), the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an outbreak of acute respiratory infection caused by a new strain of Corona virus (COVID-19) as a medical condition. public health emergency of international concern. After being detected from Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, this strain of Corona virus has spread to many countries and territories with more than 1,600,000 cases of infection, more than 95,000 deaths. In 209 countries and territories, Vietnam recorded 255 cases of infection (Source: MOH data, as of April 9, 2020).

While the COVID-19 epidemic continues to be present and widespread, communities need to take decisive actions to prevent the risk of widespread spread, minimize the impact of the disease and support control measures. .


From the perspective of experts in the field of preventive medicine and public health, some of the following advice are recommended for each citizen to protect the health of themselves and their families as follows:


– Wash your hands often and thoroughly to clean your hands with alcohol solution or wash your hands with soap and water. This will kill any viruses that may be on your hands.


– Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can become infected with viruses. Once contaminated, hands can spread the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.


Recommendations for handwashing and not touching your face, though very simple, but actually creating this habit is not easy. The difficulty encountered here is to remember to wash your hands at all times and to keep your hands clean from countless activities from going to the market, going to work, or accidentally coming into contact with contaminated surfaces … Changing and establishing new habits in this moment is quite important.


– Maintain social distancing (social distancing). According to WHO, maintain a distance of at least 1m between you and anyone, especially people who are coughing or sneezing. The Ministry of Health of Vietnam recommends this distance is 2m. When someone coughs or sneezes, they will spray droplets (small drops of liquid) from their nose or mouth that may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in droplets containing the new strain of Corona virus if the cough is ill.


– Practice respiratory hygiene. Good respiratory hygiene means covering your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then throw away used paper immediately at the designated place. It is a way to limit the droplet containing the virus, not only the virus that causes COVID-19 but also a cold or other flu. In addition, wearing a mask when going out even when working is a recommended measure in Vietnam. Although scientific evidence does not prove a significant difference between wearing masks in COVID-19 prevention. However, wearing a medical mask for an infected person can limit the spread of the virus to the outside environment. For healthy people, even wearing normal cloth masks will help limit the penetration of pathogenic viruses. One thing to note, avoid overconfidence in masked people, but skip other important measures such as washing your hands and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.


– If anyone has symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, go to the clinic early and follow the instructions of the local health authorities. Honestly declare the epidemiological factor not only to protect your health but also to the community, and to comply with the 14-day quarantine required if you return from an epidemic area or have contact with an infected person.


– Make a medical report and follow the advice of your health care provider, especially from the local community where you reside. Stay up to date on the latest status of the COVID-19 disease, follow health protection recommendations from health workers, or local authorities, because they are the ones who know best about should do in the present time area.


Member of Thua Thien Hue Association of Public Health and Preventive Medicine  distributed masks and COVID-19 prevention message to vulnerable people in Hue city.


In Vietnam, from April 1, 2020, the Prime Minister’s Directive 16 has a social isolation issue for a period of 15 days, which is a “golden time” to minimize transmission. infected the community. The Ministry of Health of Vietnam has also recommended 10 simple measures to prevent and control COVID-19. Therefore, strictly follow the instructions from the Government to contribute to the health protection of yourself, your family and the community.


In addition to basic advice on health care for yourself and your family (personal hygiene, increasing nutrition, physical activity at home …), issues related to mental health during COVID -19 also need to be concerned, not only those who are highly exposed such as health workers, or those who work directly with suspected infected people, but also other members of the community such as children and adolescents (UNICEF, 2020a, 2020b), paying special attention to vulnerable groups such as the elderly, disabled and low-income people …


By the time schools are closed, social isolation is being applied, restrictions on crowds and many important events are canceled, and children and adolescents will be subject to anxiety, frustration and depression over adults who have many experiences during this period. Therefore, the support from the family is always a good solution in the present time. Parents need to be calm and proactive in sharing information for their children, but do not overly share the adults’ worries about the disease for children, always verifying the information they can receive. Spend more time with children working at home, listen and understand their children’s concerns about disease and other issues, and guide their own personal protective measures as recommended. At the same time, look for new ways to compensate for the lack of normal communication with friends and neighbors such as through the support of social networks to connect and ask friends and young people, organize small activities for all participating members, formulate reading habits to reduce stress, help children in learning at home …


Preliminary research results of the Institute of Public Health Research, Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy in early April 2020, with 2,197 participants were representatives of more than 20 provinces and cities nationwide, showing that more than 70% of the population has a very high level of involvement in adjusting social behavior and 90% apply personal protective measures as recommended by the government and the Ministry of Health. Vietnam is currently a country with an effective COVID-19 disease prevention strategy, although our resources are still limited, initially appreciated by WHO and many countries. However, whether this success will continue to be maintained depends entirely on the awareness of the community in participating and seriously implementing a drastic, strong and humane policy in prevention. COVID-19 epidemic of the Vietnamese government and health sector in the near future.


The unpredictable challenges and forecasts of the COVID-19 pandemic are still ahead, we hope the world will quickly unite stronger, restore the trust of the community and society, overcome the literary differences. In order to reduce the spread of epidemics and deaths to people around the globe, it is necessary to share information and support resources to target groups in disease prevention and control activities.


Assoc.Prof.Dr. Vo Van Thang , Dr..BS. Nguyen Hoang Thuy Linh , MSc. BS. Nguyen Phuc Thanh Nhan

Research Institute for Community Health, Hue College of Medicine and Pharmacy

Public Health Association and Preventive Medicine, Thua Thien Hue province


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