As the COVID-19 infection rate skyrockets and the death toll mounts, each one of us who are stepping out for essential services is at risk. But the health care workers genuinely need our attention and care during these times. They are our heroes! But the critical part of preventing more infections is to give doctors and other health professionals the right information to protect themselves and others. Here are the CDC’s recommendations for doctors and nurses to protect themselves when caring for COVID-19 patients.

Access to PPE for Health Workers

Most developed countries hit by a pandemic have complained of PPE shortages. As a result, many physicians are forced to put themselves at risk and and manage patients using equipment which does not measure up to standard recommendations. The majority of the deaths in Northern Italy occurred at the start of the outbreak when the importance of PPE was not clearly recognised. Supreme Court Slams Delhi Govt for Failing to Protect Doctors, Nurses Engaged in Serving COVID-19 Patients, Directs Administration to Support Them.

Cater to Emotional Needs of Health-Care Workers

Doctors at the front-line of COVID-19 are under extreme physical and mental stress. They are over-worked and are forced to make tormenting decisions. All these comes is in addition to worrying about their own health and the constant anxiety of passing infection on to their families. We must try and support them as much as we can, emotionally. First Aid for Coronavirus: Tips for Attending a Suspected COVID-19 Infected Patient if They are Not in Hospital or Are Waiting To Get Tested.

Follow Safety Measures During OPD Visits

OPD work should be kept to a minimum and we can do our bit by converting everything online. This will not only ensure less crowding but will also reduce transmission outside clinics. If we must need a physical consultation, we must wear a face mask at all times. Dr Hilary Calls Masks 'Useless' and 'Detrimental' amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Says It Can Transmit Coronavirus; Know More.

Minimise the Chance of Exposure

It is essential to ensure that the facility policies and practices are in place to minimise exposure to respiratory pathogens. The health care workers should implement these precautionary measures upon arrival and throughout the duration of the patient’s time in the health care setting.

In hospitals, the doctors chambers should be well ventilated and patients should be made to seat and stay six feet apart from each other. In addition, every health care worker should wear a surgical mask and scrub hands with soap and water after each patient interaction.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 30, 2020 01:26 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website