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COVID-19 virus

Crowd Management: How to Control Crowd at Events in Relation to COVID-19 Protocols

The sudden nature of the COVID-19 virus saw the shutting down of the economy of different nations. But this stagnancy could not be sustained, and it became necessary to devise a means of managing the situation so that economic activities could continue. One of the areas most affected was public events because a lot of people are usually involved. To this effect, measures were taken to help avoid the spread of the virus in any form of gathering.

In everyday situations, proper crowd management is essential for the crowd’s safety and the event’s smooth running. But during this pandemic, crowd control became a number one priority, with stricter and more complex measures to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus. Making this work requires a lot of creativity in planning.

Any form of gathering during this pandemic risks spreading the virus, especially if it is an indoor gathering. The COVID-19 virus spreads quickly in poorly ventilated places, so it is safer to hold such meetings outdoors.

Attendees of such events should have taken a PCR home test or applied for the 5-day test and release method. They should come with their test result to gain access to the event. Availability of their test results prevents the risk of letting an already infected person into the event.

Aside from asking for a COVID-19 test result before access, a thermal screening should be done before letting in anyone. If an attendee’s temperature reaches a certain level, they should be denied entry.

For children, the temperature considered high is anywhere from 39℃, while for adults, it is 39.4℃.

Another rule that the people in charge should enforce is wearing facemasks at all times. At no cost should masks be removed to avoid any risk of transmitting the virus. Facemasks should cover the face from the chin to the nose of all the individuals wearing them.

Hand Sanitizers (alcohol-based), soap, and water should be available at the venue, both at the entrance and inside. There should be strict adherence to the social distance rule. Health personnel should also be available to ensure these rules are followed strictly and be on standby in the case of any health-related emergency.

When organising events or gatherings during this period, we should be very intentional about the number of people present during such events. If it is an indoor event, the number of people attending should be small for proper ventilation.

There are different ways to cut short the population of people in a place at a given time.

Blended events should be encouraged asides from ensuring “invite-only” access to events to cater to a few people who will be adequately spread out at the occasion. Blended events encourage remote participation, reducing the presence of many people at the venue. These events can be enabled for conferences, weddings, seminars, and religious programmes, among other gatherings.

For example, churches can split services into two or three sections to avoid overpopulation in the hall. This action, of course, should be supported by all social distance and other covid-19 protocols. Not all crowded events are pre-planned. Some examples are protests and political campaigns, to name a few. In situations like this, it is not easy to control the crowd, especially not with a pandemic at hand. 

In cases like this, there is not much to do to help concerning crowd management. It is mainly left to the protesters to abide by the COVID-19 safety procedures.

After participating in a protest like this, it is advisable to isolate yourself for two weeks. If you feel any symptoms, you do a PCR home test.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected lives in many ways. Now, it is up to people to find the best ways to carry out our regular activities while staying safe from the virus, and that is why it is vital to adhere to COVID-19 protocols that have been put in place for our safety.

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COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 and its Effects on Pregnant and Postpartum Women

The effects of the COVID-19 virus on the world cannot be overemphasised, but for some groups of people, it hits different. Pregnancy is a life-changing event with symptoms and illnesses that sometimes differ in women, but each illness is as uncomfortable as the next. Postpartum mothers are not left out of it because some mothers tend to suffer from baby blues and even postpartum depression. Imagine then all these combined with the COVID-19 virus. It is a whole lot to handle. That’s why pregnant women are always advised to get tested for COVID-19 testing and get the vaccines as soon as possible.

COVID-19 testing tend to be crowded, especially in populated areas. Pregnant women need to be cared for and attended to with respect. Some pregnant women may have reservations about the COVID-19 tests and vaccination, so health workers should be able to assure them that both are safe and highly recommended.

A pregnant woman is equally prone to contracting the COVID-19 virus as another person. Still, when they do, it is a more severe case than a non-pregnant woman getting the virus because pregnant women are more likely to have severe illnesses. They might even have to be taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in some cases. It’s usually riskier for older women, women with pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, and overweight women. There’s also the issue of pregnancy complications because of the virus, but on the bright side, it is only in sporadic cases that the virus can infect the foetus. Although, for safety purposes, after birth, the baby should be tested, isolated from other babies, and cared for specially. In truth, these complications can be avoided, if pregnant women get vaccinated. There are questions about whether a pregnant woman with the COVID-19 virus has to give birth by caesarean section, and the answer is no. Caesarean section is only recommended when necessary, and the pregnant woman has the right to choose her preferred mode of birth.

Suppose a symptomatic mother contracts the virus during her postpartum period. In that case, she can still breastfeed her baby, but with all the necessary precautionary steps taken, like washing of hands before and after carrying the baby, wearing a facemask, and disinfecting near surfaces. The baby should be held skin-to-skin while being fed. Alternatively, if the mother cannot handle breastfeeding at that time, the baby should be fed expressed breast milk by a trusted, healthy caregiver until the mother fully recovers. In this case, she has to wash her hands thoroughly and put on a facemask before pumping. It is not yet certain that the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted to the baby through breast milk, but it is unlikely. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO), in a study, discovered that breast milk samples from 3 mothers involved contained the COVID-19 virus, while 43 samples tested negative. Also, it is highly recommended that breastfeeding mothers be vaccinated rather than wait till after breastfeeding. The vaccine can induce COVID-19 antibodies in the mother which could seep into the breast milk and serve as a protective agent for the baby.

In conclusion, COVID-19 has its effects on pregnant and postpartum women, and that is why it is best for them to get tested and vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid further complications.

Pregnant women should have frequent visits to their obstetrician-gynaecologists (ob-gyn) to help with decisions concerning the COVID-19 testing and vaccination and other pregnancy-related issues. They should also be able to do their research and ask questions every step of the way. Pregnant and postpartum women deserve all the care and help they can get, and it is only fitting to take care of them more in cases where they are affected by the COVID-19 virus during these delicate periods.