Our defence mechanism against COVID-19 lies in volunteers

gnlm opinion

When the COVID-crisis began, local volunteer groups sprung up in regions and states as part of steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to work to contain the disease.
They are carrying out the mission to save lives while waging war against an invisible enemy — coronavirus.
Various volunteers staying within quarantine centres have help the government in preparing quarantine centres and distributing food. They have stayed within quarantine centres with the people who have been quarantined, cleaning rooms with disinfectant and supplying food. They have been called frontline volunteers and are at risk of coronavirus infection. Life in a quarantine centre is tough. The volunteers require training and equipment for their safety and effective work.
The 23 cases of coronavirus infection on 19 June among a group of migrant workers held in quarantine there after being deported from Thailand has reflected that the volunteers at the quarantine centres are at high risk of infection. The 23 cases were the most officially reported in a single day in Myanmar, which has recorded only 286 cases of the virus so far and six deaths. To help them perform their missions systematically and to be safe from the infection, the manual for the volunteers and personal protective equipment were distributed them to ensure those volunteers provide services, effectively and correctly.
It is also worth noted that the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement is current conducting the virtual trainings for the volunteers in regions and states to ensure they can carry out their missions with safety. As our migrant workers are still returning from neighbouring countries, the number of quarantined personnel will increase, and COVID-19 preparedness should be top of mind today for every volunteer at frontline including quarantine centres and at border check points.
The most important individual actions we can all take to limit the spread of COVID-19, influenza and the common cold are the basics:
• Wash your hands before and after every patient contact.
• Wash your hands after glove removal and before inputting data into a mobile data terminal or driving your vehicle.
• Don’t touch your face during patient contact, assessment and treatment.
• Wear eye protection and a mask when performing airway management procedures.
• Catch your cough in your elbow.
• If you are sick, follow department policies to stay home.
Hand hygiene isn’t just for the field providers. Make sure personnel in the quarantine centres and emergency operations centre are serious about infection control. Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer should readily available to all. Quarantine is a significant action to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. Dear volunteers at the frontline, in you, our people have a defence mechanism.

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