The PC approached Dr Dipankar Prakash Bhowmik, an Associate Professor of Medicine, with a request:
In Covid-19 time, you are the hands people look for. The ones infected get into treatment protocol fixed. And the others with a hundred queries have been in search of specific solution.
The Plural Column keeps a bunch of ten questions, you may please shot back the replies.”
The doctor, who earned a Gold Medal at PG level teaches in Tripura Medical College having clinical experience of almost 25 years, not only did ‘shot back’, is coming live today @thepluralcolumn at 3 PM. Ask your well-defined rational queries.
Question – 1. If vegetables purchased from open market or vendors can spread Covid-19, if so, how can one make those safe for consumption?
Question- 2. The same question, now in the context of meat and fish.
Question 3. Again, the same one, but now for grocery items, especially items like sugar, flour, etc that you cannot wash.
Dr.DPB: Answer to 1,2,3:
Virus is spread from an infected person through droplet, that comes out with respiration and conversation. They can fall on any surface. If we touch them, our hand would have some virus. From our hand, they can enter our respiratory tract if we touch nose, our lips without washing hands. If we wash our hands or sanitise with alcohol based sanitiser, we do not get infection.
When we wash items, or boil, or keep it for few ours, virus is destroyed. So, if we consume after washing or cooking, there is no problem. Even keeping items for few hours also makes items safe.
These are applicable to all above mentioned issues.
Question 4. How is safe to eat restaurant food home delivered in thin metallic boxes or so?
Does sanitising the outer surface make it safe?
Dr.DPB: When food is packed hot, it is quite safe. If the delivery boy is infected, the box surface may have some virus. So, after disposing the outer packing carefully and properly, hands should be washed properly and then eating is okay.
Question 5. How are safe bakery products, like ‘Pawruti’ or confectionary like an ice-cream ?
Dr.DPB: Problem may be with the outer covering. Same precaution like restaurant food has to be followed.
Question 6. How is to deal the currency notes, it’s never known how it travels ?
Dr.DPB: Concern is expressed for last few months regarding currency. No study established infective potential of currency or no guide line expressed any alert about it.
Question 7. Does a rat or a mice or a cat spread Covid-19? Rats venture from their road-side hideouts into houses, roam, climb stairs, so on and that too, without being noticed.
Dr.DPB: No literature mentioned anything such. Washing hands frequently can remove all concerns.
Question 8. Does a clothing pose threat, or how long does a clothing carry the virus?
Dr.DPB: Virus can stay alive on cloth for very short time. Washing clothes with detergent makes it safe.
…….And when one is putting off a clothing, does it suspend the virus in the atmosphere? How can it be safely washed assuming that everyone do not have washing machine?
Dr.DPB: It does not shed virus.
Simple washing in detergent water is sufficient.
Question 9. What do you see, how long it may take to get back normalcy in India? Is curative or protective medical solution in sight?
Dr.DPB: Depends up on adoption and practice of health advices by people . People are too panicked and too reluctant. Just following physical distancing, washing hands, using musk can help us to win the battle. People are doing many other funny practices like thrashing health care providers, pushing family of Covid patients, etc.
Question 10. How do you react to the situation as a doctor as you are most exposed to the threat? Do you take Vitamin-C, Vitamin B complex, Zinc solution, etc, etc?
Dr.DPB: Yes, we can get infection at any time. We do take standard operational safety measures. Before we go out from our work place we clean ourselves thoroughly. We have to think of safety of family members where our parents are very old and our wards are very tender. We have to think of safety of so many people coming to our contact also.
I prefer, proper balanced diet having adequate protein, vitamin, and minerals. Vitamin supplements are only to supplement our food if deficient in anything, they are not alternatives. Vitamin-C, Vitamin B complex, Zinc solution, etc, etc, I do not consider as routine measure.