How to keep the virus at bay, now

How to keep the virus at bay, now

by Dr. Kishore Madhwani November 21 2020, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 4 mins, 39 secs

Dr. Kishore Madhwani writes on the essentials to keep safe at this juncture of the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

Post-Diwali, the New Year has begun with positive vibes of early recovery, opening of public sector offices, relaxation of lockdown in worshipping  places, shopping malls and restaurants.

Plus, there’s news of a potential vaccine for transforming tomorrow to the new normal. One feels optimistic - perhaps we will celebrate our next Eid, Baisakhi, Durga Puja and Diwali with the traditional fervour - as we may be vaccinated by then. 

As this dreadful virus is now unleashing a second wave in Delhi and globally (USA and Europe) with a record number of cases and deaths,  please remember the mantra SMS V3 on your fingertips for protection from COVID-19.

The mandatory execution of SMS V3  as opposed to a total lockdown has been successful in South Korea, New Zealand and Singapore in controlling transmission effectively.

SMS is where most protection is achieved by S - Sanitisation, M - Mask Wearing and S - Social Distance

In a social message, Amitabh Bachchan mentions the above three mandates.  It may be pertinent, also to stress the importance of V3, which is extremely important for your safety to achieve substantial protection from the virus.   

V: Ventilation, V: Vigilance and V: Visiting Out

Let me elaborate on each component of the essential mantra, beginning with Sanitisation.

Surface Sanitisation is very conveniently, cost-effectively achieved by a) 1 percent hypochlorite solution for walls, table surfaces, door knobs etc., and b) a contactless UV-C radiation chamber in a span of two to eight minutes depending on the size and quantum of items to be disinfected, ranging from currency notes, stationery, keys, mobile phones, spectacles and laptops to  farm fresh vegetables, tetra-packs and home-delivered food. It is worth investing in this chamber because the radiation destroys the virus DNA, thereby terminating virus replication.

Self-Sanitisation: Religiously washing hands for 20 seconds every three hours with soap and warm water. If water is not available, 70 percent alcohol-based sanitizers should be rubbed for 20 seconds before donning a mask, eating, rubbing your eyes, the nose and after taking off the mask, disposing of the mask, completing eating, toilet use and touching potentially contaminated surfaces.

Mask Wearing: Disposable N95, triple-layered or reusable cloth masks (in descending order of efficacy) now advocated by WHO for protecting others and recently confirmed for self- protection too (CDC, USA), reduces virus transmission by 70 per cent and has the potential of reducing countless cases and deaths globally; if snugly fitting and fully covering the nose and mouth.

Additionally, a face shield is strongly recommended while interacting  and spending long duration indoors with others.. 

Social Distancing: Maintaining 6 feet distance at all times (Do Gaz Ki Doori Jo Aaj Hai Zaroori) is challenging but very easily achieved by downloading the magical UNTIL APP (use link in attachment below) on your Android Mobile Phone (keeping  the Bluetooth on). This automatically alarms you with a beep if you violate the 6 feet distance. If it is windy, then the minimal social distancing maintenance will be beyond 6 to 10 feet.

Ventilation: Avoid visiting enclosed small spaces like bars and restaurants since uni-directional drafts of air from split air conditioners could transmit the virus from asymptomatic virus carriers to a long distance in the same room. Aerosol transmission of viruses increases exponentially indoors from breathing to speaking, shouting, singing, coughing and sneezing.

Staying indoors for lengthy periods should be avoided in totally confined (nil ventilation) work areas, non-exhaust ventilated small office spaces where outside air cannot enter and exit.  

In workspaces and showrooms or malls, the central HVAC unit should be installed with UV-C radiation lights for deactivating virus, must have a minimum 12 air exchanges per hour, maintain temperature at  24 degrees and a relative humidity at 40 per cent to 70 per cent (making it  a bit warm & uncomfortable).

When travelling, use a self-driven vehicle. But if you’re using public transport, then social distancing, mask-wearing, switching off the air conditioners and keeping windows open (if feasible) minimises the risk of transmission. New generation split air conditioners with nano E technology inactivate the COVID-19 virus as do room air purifiers (with HEPA filters) for small enclosed rooms. These innovations may transform tomorrow’s workplace for adapting to the new normal. 

Vigilance: Earliest detection by Rapid Antigen Test/RT PCR Swab Test, isolate, treat fast, track and trace fast all the close contacts for their home quarantine.

Monitor the vital parameters of all the affected for hospitalisation if health deteriorates and protect from post COVID-19 complications/syndrome.

Visiting: Avoid elevators as well as large gatherings of five people or more, limit visiting time (five minutes if possible) and frequency, avoid or limit interaction with people if possible. When travelling, it is recommended to invest in a FITNESS TRACKER (an excellent medical wearable used as a screening device), which alerts you by recording your temperature, oxygen saturation, pulse rate, blood pressure, heart rhythm with precision for the  timely action of contacting your personal family physician.   

Here is the link to download the app, which will maintain SOCIAL DISTANCING for you - Only on Android:


If you liked this article, kindly await my next article on latest developments in diagnostic tests and treatment including medications, monoclonal antibodies & last but not the least, what we all have been patiently awaiting – Vaccinations! 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.