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Combating coronavirus: Contactless greetings must to keep elderly safe

Nandini Sircar
Filed on May 11, 2020 | Last updated on May 11, 2020 at 06.38 am
Combating coronavirus, covid19, Contactless greetings, must, elderly, safety

(Reuters)

Seniors, they stressed, have compromised immune systems and should be protected from the virus at all costs.

Keep the elderly safe at home amid the Covid-19 pandemic and make sure social distancing is maintained even within the family, doctors reiterated on Sunday.

Seniors, they stressed, have compromised immune systems and should be protected from the virus at all costs.

The reminder comes after an Arab grandmother tested positive for Covid-19 when a relative kissed her forehead in a gesture of affection as he was leaving.

After staying home, cancelling all appointments and keeping a safe distance from all of her children and family members - the elderly woman got infected with just one momentary gesture.

"Hugging and kissing the elderly is absolutely not advised. If they contract coronavirus from someone, the risk of their cases becoming more complicated is much higher as most seniors have some pre-existing medical conditions," said Dr Shyam Rajamohan, an internal medicine specialist at Prime Hospital Garhoud.

The elderly are the most "at-risk" group amid this pandemic because they have weaker immune systems, Dr Rajamohan added.

Contactless greetings

With how Covid-19 has spread across the globe, it's high time that people rethink the way they greet each other, another doctor said.

Dr Seema Aundhekar, general practitioner at Right Health Clinic, Grand City Mall, said: "The main message is that people really just need to change their behaviour in the near and distant future and practice contactless greetings. The Indian 'Namaste' is good."

To do a Namaste greeting, one presses his or her palms together in front of the chest area, with fingers pointing upwards. This is then followed by a bow.

Need to express affection

Wellness experts said human beings feel the need to express their "warmth" and "care" for their loved ones.

Affection flows when people hug and feel, otherwise many feel that the greeting is incomplete without it, they said. But they also agreed that contactless greetings need to embraced in these unprecedented times.

Dr Ameya Ghanekar, chief learning officer at Orange Zebras and TedX Speaker, said: "The touch-feel and feelings should be replaced by virtual thumbs up, virtual shake hand and virtual emojis with heart."

Echoing similar sentiments, life coach Girish Hemnani said: "Love is not just what we do but also what we must restrain for the greater good.

"Love and care can still be reached with our simple phone calls, assuring words, and most importantly taking care of yourself and others."

nandini@khaleejtimes.com 


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