Precaution thrown to the wind

Precaution thrown to the wind

Virus Alert

The H1N1 scare is back, but people don’t seem too concerned about taking precautions against contracting the virus.

helpful The first-aid centre at the stadium.

With not less than 30,000 people at the stadium during every IPL match in the City, one wonders if any H1N1 preventive measures are in place at the stadium.

Metrolife did a reality check at the stadium and found that barring a first-aid centre erected by the Manipal Hospitals, and three ambulances, nothing is being done to either screen people with possible H1N1 symptoms or create an awareness among people to take precaution.

Persisting cough, cold and fever are just some of the symptoms of H1N1.The first-aid centre only treats people with minor injuries and fever, cold and cough. Nothing substantial is done to check if these are possible symptoms of H1N1. Staff at the first-aid centre say H1N1 can be diagnosed only through a blood test.

“We do try to keep an eye on people, but it’s such a disease that one can’t really say if the person is really infected or not,” says Mahesh, who sits at the centre.

So what happens when a person comes with some of these symptoms? “We advise them to go to the hospital immediately and rule out all possibilities,” adds Shakila Banu, another volunteer at the centre.  Also, nothing is being done to create an awareness among the people coming to the stadium regarding the virus. With such a deadly virus in the air, one would expect the KSCA or the management to put up signboards or a simple warning cautioning the spectators.

People coming to the match confess that they don’t care about take any precautions but just want to enjoy the match. Chetan and Pavithra confess that they didn’t really think about getting infected. “We are here to watch the match and have a good time. H1N1 is a concern but we never think of it when we’re coming to watch a match,” says Pavithra. At the same time, many people believe that the virus is a concern. Lokesh, who works in the government department, says that the high-end lounges in the stadium are fairly free of any such problems. “People who come to these lounges are more careful and aware of the problem. They cover their mouth when they sneeze or cough. However, the IPL authorities should do something to create awareness,” he says.

There are those who believe that individuals should take care of themselves rather than rely on the authorities to do something.

Aparna, a professional from UK, who has come down for her holidays, says “I have already taken my vaccination, so there is nothing to be afraid of. Nevertheless, the virus is airborne and people can’t completely depend on the authorities in the stadium. But one must be responsible enough to stay away from crowded places like the stadium if they have any  symptoms or wear masks to protect others,” she adds.

Santhosh, who works for the excise department feels, “Self-help is the best thing to do. If we are careful about ourselves, then there’s nothing to worry.”

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