There was a lot of confusion as to whether Corona Virus being in the air or not, whether it is safe to see patients…
Let me share with you the most difficult decision we have had to take and we abide with it.
As a dentist, we are care providers and every day people come because of dental pain of various degrees and for routine exams. If we are properly protected you’d think that we would be safe , but , aerosols remain in the air for a long period of time even after the patient has left the surgery and eventually fall on all the surfaces.
Since two weeks now before the outbreak in the country , I have been extra cautious with all patients whom might have felt weird, but we were following advice from other countries that have gone through the same. So the assistant and myself were greeting the patients with a smile, a nod or folded hands instead of handshakes or hugs. Also we have been asking questions about travels or people that have traveled in their family or proximity and we would check their temperatures and then we would begin treatment assuming the patients would be telling the truth.
Last Wednesday 18th March when the Prime Minister announced late during the evening at about 10 pm that we have now been infected and to be even more careful we realized it was very serious. Even if it was 1 case or 3 or 10 we knew that us Mauritians we like to socialize, we knew that we love to touch everything , we knew that we liked to kiss like the french on both cheeks and we cannot remain at 1metre or 2metres distance from one another. After the announcement we were told that all schools nurseries universities will be closed until further notice.
The next day as early as eight o’clock I explained to the assistant how serious it is, particularly if she travels by public transport. She might be at risk and every single patient who will come might be a covid19 positive patient too.Also at that same period I was having itchy throat and high temp so I was afraid I was at risk too since I had patients coming from UK , FRANCE , DUBAI.Therefore for our own safety , family safety and for the safety of our patients we had to close and disinfect the surgery from top to bottom.
You should know also that Dental Surgeons and Dental Assistants work in very close proximity to the mouth of somebody like few cms between us and we do not have the necessary preventive gear for 100% non contamination.
Please got to the following link https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/15/business/economy/coronavirus-worker-risk.html?fbclid=IwAR3_QTr58TdMm_Ztsi_ZN66dc-UwBAX1TG7JzessR9v7Z-6v4PVskBmNyWE
The following day the Prime Minister announced that only primary essential services will be working and all dentists followed suit .