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How To Fight COVID-19: What To Put In A Coronavirus Preparedness Kit
  • Amid rising cases in countries like South Korea, Japan, the U.S., the Philippines has so far managed to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to 10 confirmed cases.

    In many parts of the world, however, citizens are bracing for the potential spread of the disease. The United States, where six deaths have been reported, is already anticipating a community spread after a person in California, who did not travel to China or had any known exposure to someone with the virus, contracted COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the global risk for coronavirus to very high.

    With these scenarios, it is important to be prepared. Especially since it may even prevent us in the future from leaving our homes to gather supplies.

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    What to put in a coronavirus preparedness kit

    Just like having a “Go bag” for emergencies, you can also assemble a coronavirus preparedness kit. Inspired by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s preparedness plan for a pandemic, here are some of the items you can put inside your kit:

    Flu supplies

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says “there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019,” although there have been reports that China has approved a drug to fight the outbreak in their country. According to the WHO, around 80% of those who become infected with the virus, which presents itself with symptoms like fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, and diarrhea, may recover from the disease without needing special treatment.


    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security suggests stocking up on flu supplies like “pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicine, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins" to better protect your family against the virus.

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    Food and water good for two weeks

    If you are asked to go on self-quarantine, you may be asked to stay at home for at least 14 days (the incubation period of the virus). In the event of a community spread, it might also be better to stay indoors, so make sure you have enough food and water on hand.

    Opt for non-perishable food like canned goods. Electrolyte-enhanced fluids like Gatorade, and easy to eat food like crackers, bread, and soup should also be on hand for those who develop symptoms. You may also want to buy extra supplies of soap, toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues.

    Prescription medication good for two weeks

    If you have existing medical conditions, you want to make sure that you have a stock of the medicines you usually take, like maintenance medicine for high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma, and diabetes.

    Your health records

    In case of an emergency, collect and maintain your health records, advises the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Keep copies of the whole family’s vaccination and medical records in your kit.

    Do I need to put masks in our kit?

    The CDC does not recommend surgical masks to people who are well.  “Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others,” according to their website. It may also be used by people who are in close proximity to the sick.

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    It is more important to practice good hygiene and cough etiquette to prevent the spread of the virus. Wash your hands regularly and stay home if you have a cough or a cold to prevent transmission of the virus.

    Worried about COVID-19? Click here to know how you can protect your family in case it becomes a pandemic.

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