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Sunday, Mar 15, 2020 13:45 [IST]

Last Update: Sunday, Mar 15, 2020 08:14 [IST]

The Novel Coronavirus: Be alert, not scared


Across the globe, continuous research is being carried out on the evolution and treatment of the novel coronavirus, or COVID19, as it is named, with no reliable treatment in place till date.  In the wake of the virus entering India, many people in the country are in a state of panic owing to its fast-spreading nature. As per experts, there is no need to panic as the infected people are under quarantine. Nevertheless, we must take the necessary precautions in order to minimize the possibilities of the further outbreak.

Ayurveda, the traditional Indian science of health and longevity echoes the principle of prevention is better than cure, which resonates with the current state of the globe, where cure or vaccine is not available. All that we as citizens can focus on, is prevention.

Experts recommend some necessary and simple precautions that can be helpful in preventing further spread of the novel coronavirus:

Avoid crowd and contact: Do not go to public gatherings till the coronavirus subsides. Under unavoidable circumstances, use a face mask.  Take care of social hygiene while sneezing or coughing.

Wash hands frequently and thoroughly: Use soap and water; wash face eyes and nose afterward and rinse your mouth as well, since coronavirus enters the body through Mucous membranes which are generally present in the openings of the body like eyes, nose, mouth, and genitalia. Frequently use alcohol-based hand sanitizers and minimize contact with people and surfaces. Do not touch eyes, nose or mouth without washing hands with soap and water whenever you are out in public or have returned from outside.  Wash hands properly before eating.

Common Toilets and public places: Avoid using public restrooms and refrain from touching surfaces in public places like doorknobs, handles, railings, etc.

Refrain from eating outside: Totally avoid cold and frozen foods like ice cream and cold drinks, cut fruits and fruit juices from outside. In unavoidable circumstances limit to freshly prepared hot food. Avoid salads and raw food, half-cooked or half-baked food. You can consume fruits at home after cleaning and peeling them properly. Keeping away from junk and fried food will be helpful for the immune system and overall health.

Immunity is the savior: A strong immune system is always a big advantage when it comes to infectious diseases. Pay attention to your health and lifestyle and follow a healthy regime for a strong immune system. 

Maintain a good physiological cycle- have proper sleep and proper food at appropriate timings.

Consume adequate water.

Include yoga and pranayama in your lifestyle. Adopt an active lifestyle.

Meditate: It counters chronic stress and makes life worthwhile. Stress is a major killer and one of the biggest enemies of the immune system. Currently, a number of people are obsessed with the fear of coronavirus which makes regular meditation need of the hour. Meditation helps in getting rid of panic and fear, and it also has innumerable health benefits.

Include spices like turmeric and black pepper in your diet, or mix them in your glass of warm cow milk. Many Indian spices like cinnamon and cumin seeds are great immunomodulators.

Include garlic, ginger, lemons and gooseberry in your diet.

Giloy (Amruthbali) is an Indian herb that is very effective in boosting immunity. You can also consume Triphala (an ayurvedic herbal Rasayana readily available in the market), tulsi (holy basil), mulethi (licorice) for better immunity.

Give up refined sugar- it severely hampers the immune system.


Symptoms of COVID 19 infection include cough, high fever, headache, runny nose and breathing difficulty.   Do not panic, these are also symptoms of seasonal flu.

Possibility of infection:

Do you have the symptoms of the novel coronavirus infection? If yes, take the following immediate measures if you have been in direct or indirect physical contact or close proximity with an infected person, or in case you have travelled back to India from a country having high rate of infection, or have been in contact with a person who has travelled from such a place.

Home quarantine yourself; do not panic.

Maintain safe distance from family members.

Do not share utensils and room with anyone in family.

Call on the government helpline for COVID19; wait till you are tested.

With a strong immune system and positive outlook, it should be possible to fight off any infection. It is important to take precautions but at the same time not to let fear or panic take over us. As a society we need to be alert and aware in such situations, however, it is equally important to remain calm and not to lose our smile!

With inputs from Dr.MitaliMadhusmita (senior doctor from Art of Living’s Sri Sri TattvaPanchkarma) and Dr.SajithaK(HOD, Swasthavritti and Yoga, SSCASR)

*Dr.HarshaSumanis an Ayurveda expert and represents the Art of Living Organisation.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi