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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 83-87

COVID-19 Preventive measures among health-care workers: Desperate times, desperate measures

Department of Internal Medicine, AFMC, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Gp Capt T VSVGK Tilak
Department of Internal Medicine, AFMC, Solapur Road, Pune - 411 040, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmms.jmms_99_20

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Background: In these desperate times when the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has caught the entire world off guard, we have very few evidence-based preventive measures currently available. Various preventive practices, which include both pharmacological interventions (PIs) and non-PIs (NPI), adopted by the health-care workers (HCWs) might play a crucial role in protecting them against COVID-19. This study aims to identify these preventive measures adopted by HCWs in a dedicated 1000-bedded temporary COVID-19 hospital in northern India, with HCWs coming from various parts of the country. Objectives: The objective was to study the various forms of preventive measures undertaken by HCWs and to calculate their prevalence. Methodology: This cross-sectional web-based survey was conducted in a population of HCWs in a 1000-bedded COVID-19 hospital in northern India. Results: Most HCWs included in the study were using multiple preventive measures not necessarily backed by evidence. In this study, 81.8% of the participants were using hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) prophylaxis. Nurses had the highest adherence to HCQ prophylaxis, however they were also the most concerned regarding side effects. Increase in the frequency of hand hygiene and bathing practices was seen in majority of the participants. HCWs were also found to practice various preventive measures such as Vitamin C supplements (37.8%), yoga (37.1%), and warm saline gargles (36.3%). Other less common methods noted were steam inhalation, amlaki, kaadha, tulsi drops, chyawanprash, and nasya. The Internet served as the main source of information. Conclusion: The role of various preventive practices in the setting of a novel infection needs to be studied further. With no dearth in information advocating various proven or unproven strategies available on the Internet, their use by both HCWs and general population is inevitable. This is irrespective of their job or educational profiles. Whether or not such practices are useful in our fight against COVID-19 is a question that can only be answered through further studies.

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