Watch | Your COVID-19 queries answered

A video based on the answers to selected questions readers' queries related to COVID-19

Updated - March 14, 2020 02:36 pm IST

Published - March 13, 2020 03:29 pm IST

COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by WHO. As of March 12, 2020, 1,18,000 positive cases have been reported globally in 114 countries. Here are a few queries on COVID-19 answered by experts.


1. Can sunlight kill the virus?

The virus survives in the human body at 37 degree Celsius. So, heat is no deterrent for its transmission. The only probability is that, it may not survive in the outside environment. Hot Indian summer will inhibit it, but will not transmit as effectively. The virus may not be able to survive outside for long.

Dr. V. Ramasubramanian Consultant, Infectious Diseases, Apollo Hospitals


2. Do we need to wear masks?

For common people, it is not necessary to wear masks. Only people infected with COVID-19 and healthcare professionals, who are in direct contact with infected patients, need to use N95 masks. 

Dr. J. Euphrasia Latha Head, Institute of Microbiology, Madras Medical College


3. Should people avoid eating meat-based food?

Eating meat has nothing to do with the virus. It is a respiratory virus and not a food-borne one.

Dr. KK Aggarwal   President, Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania and former president of Indian Medical Association


4. Is there a link between a person’s immunity and COVID-19 transmission?

Sometimes, the virus enters a person’s lungs and causes pneumonia. For young people with good immunity, the effects of the virus may not be too strong but if you are someone with comorbid conditions like diabetes or cardiac disease, or if you are on immunosuppresive drugs, then the risk of infection is severe. The virus does not affect everybody.

Dr. J Euphrasia Latha & Dr P Kuganantham


5. Should one approach the hospital directly if symptoms of the virus is noticed?

You are not supposed to visit a hospital directly. There are helpline numbers to contact. Depending on your symptoms, a call will be made on what needs to be done, and they will come and collect a sample at your home. 

Dr. KK Aggarwal


6. Can the virus spread when one uses a swimming pool?

It is highly unlikely for this to happen. The virus is a droplet infection. It has to be inhaled to cause the disease. Chlorination of swimming pools to recommended levels can certainly inactivate any virus, including COVID-19.

Dr. Ravi Santosham Pulmonologist


Compiled by Deepa Alexander, Pradeep Kumar and Priyadarshini Paitandy


Read more: ‘Heat is not a deterrent for transmission’: Your COVID-19 queries answered

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