Reduce unnecessary social gatherings! Health experts recommend ahead of the holiday season

Cai Wenjun
With New Year and the Spring Festival on the way, health experts recommend a series of COVID-19 prevention measures to reduce the spread of the infection and protect the elderly.
Cai Wenjun

With the arrival of the New Year and Spring Festival holidays, medical experts are alerting the public to reduce unnecessary social gatherings and take proper self-protection while taking public transportation for COVID-19 prevention and control.

"It is important to appropriately plan outings. If it's not a long distance, we encourage people to drive on their own and avoid cross infection during this round of the pandemic," said Wu Huanyu, vice director of the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "If taking public transportation, wearing a mask, bringing hand sanitizer and medication is important. People with symptoms like fever and cough should delay travel plans."

People with underlying diseases and the elderly should pay extra attention, and it would be best to avoid public places.

"Winter is the peak season for respiratory infectious disease. With the temperatures dropping and the recent rise of COVID cases, local residents should reduce outings, especially to places with poor ventilation. If going out for work or seeing a doctor, wearing a mask, keeping social distance, and washing hands after returning home are very important," Wu said.

If infected with COVID-19, resting well and self-isolating at home are enough. If experiencing symptoms, people can take medicine or visit nearby facilities like neighborhood health centers, instead of going all the way to crowded leading hospitals, experts said.

"For elderly residents with COVID infections, family members should closely monitor their symptoms and contact general physicians in the neighborhood for instruction if necessary," said Dr Jia Weiping from the Shanghai Sixth People's Hospital. "Elderly people are especially vulnerable during the pandemic. If visiting elderly people, we suggest people, including those who have recovered from COVID-19, wear a mask and keep distance for the safety and health of the elderly."

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