Now is the Time to Take Part in Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

The world is currently facing an outbreak of COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease) which has claimed many lives, with Wuhan City in China being the first region to be affected by the outbreak. In Indonesia itself, as seen from the news update that came directly from the Ministry of Health (03/20/2020) there have been 308 positive cases of Corona, with 25 victims dead, and 15 of them successfully recovered. This mortality rate is the highest in Southeast Asia. This requires us to increase our vigilance and collectively prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We all need to take part in fighting this COVID-19 outbreak.

Some campuses in Indonesia, in accordance to the government’s directions, have stopped their direct teaching and learning activities and replaced it with online lectures, including UMY which started its online lectures on March 16, 2020.

“Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta is an institution and a community that consists of people who carry out educational, social, economic and health functions that will be greatly affected by the current pandemic situation. In this case, these people became the priority in handling the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Therefore, UMY designed a protocol policy that is not aggressive but is expected to be part of the solution, “said Dr. April Imam Prabowo, S. Ed., MFM (Clin) at a coordination meeting of the UMV COVID-19 Mitigation Task Force, when interviewed on Friday (20/3).

The reason UMY did not immediately close access to its campus for 14 days or the incubation period and chose to close at the first seven days was because the campus wanted to prepare all the supporting facilities to deal with this pandemic. “So when it is time for the students to return to learning in class, there is already a place to wash their hands and check their temperatures, and there will be hand sanitizers and sterilized rooms. This approach is modeled on what has been done by Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. We cannot guarantee that after 14 days everything will be safe, so we must remain vigilant,” he continued.

Online lectures require students to stay in their respective boarding houses. dr. April urges students not to take part in outdoor activities that involve many people because it can increase the risk of contracting Coronavirus. “Students must be aware of their own health and that of others, and don’t panic or stress, because stress can weaken the immune system which is actually dangerous in situations like this. Never underestimate COVID-19, because this virus does not go away on its own, and it can result in death for the sufferer who has medical history and becomes infected due to weak immunity. ”

In this situation, additional literacy, health promotions, and policies are needed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. “Health promotion is not just about writing recommendations and displaying posters, but the most important thing is that we know what we are doing, such as protecting public health and reducing its social impact. We must ensure that existing recommendations can reduce the spread of viruses in the campus environment. All parties must be involved, policy makers should be implementing the policies. Students must do their part by practicing social distancing, increasing literacy, learning at home, and online learning. All who play a role are heroes. Maintain efforts to lower the virus transmission. Be an agent of change in this pandemic,” concluded dr. April. (hbb)

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