Avoid gatherings during Holi in wake of COVID19: Health experts

New Delhi [India], Mar 9 (ANI): In the wake of cases of coronavirus (COVID19) in the country and its potential to spread fast, health experts have appealed to people to avoid mass gatherings during Holi as a precautionary measure.

Doctors said that crowded places and wet Holi can increase the risk to spread the coronavirus.

Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS told ANI that the government is making all possible efforts to prevent and stop the spread of COVID 19.

He said people should avoid playing Holi in gatherings.

"Practising good hand hygiene habits is the best way to keep ourselves safe. People who have low immunity and elderly should use N-95 masks to safeguard themselves from COVID19," he said.

Dr Raman Kumar, President of the Academy of Family Physicians of India, there is no need to panic about COVID 19.

"Most patients recover with timely intervention. If a person has a symptom, they should seek medical advice immediately. Holi celebrations could spread the infection if any person with viral respiratory illness join the Holi celebrations," he said.

"As preventive measures, we strongly recommend avoiding crowded spaces and contact with people who are infected with flu or fever. Children love to play Holi with water and we would advise them to avoid wet colours this Holi," he added.

Dr Ashish Jaiswal, a chest specialist, said that most respiratory viruses spread through droplet infection and COVID 19 was no exception.

"In droplet infection, a healthy person gets infected when he comes in contact with the droplets expelled through cough and sneeze of an affected person. It is important to stay at least 6 feet away from a person who is coughing or sneezing to keep yourself safe," he said.He also said that gatherings should be avoided.

Dr Vidushi Jain, a dermatologist, said that apart from the threat of viral respiratory infection, Holi colour can contain chemicals which cause allergies and irritation to the skin. India has reported about 43 positive cases of COVID-19. (ANI)