Difference between Quarantine, Isolation and Social Distancing

Difference between Quarantine, Isolation and Social Distancing

Decluttering the Coronavirus jargon!

Dr K K Aggarwal

Social distancing

Avoid going to a gathering where people may have symptoms like sneezing, cough or fever. If it is important to go there, confirm that there is no one with these symptoms (cough or sneezing). 


“My concern, my duty.”

Wherever you go, make sure you don’t meet anyone. If you meet someone,maintain a distance of 3 feet, “Lakshmanrekhafor today’s world”. Ensure that your working table is clean. Social gathering is also same, but implemented on a bigger gathering. 

Isolation Meaning 

If you are corona virus positive, wear a mask, stay in a single fully ventilated room, non-air conditioned, install a room purifier with 10 exchanges preferably, so that the room is absolutely clean, only one person should be permitted to enter the room; the person should be wearing a mask, and maintain a distance of 3 feet. It is usually done in a hotel or in a hospital.

Quarantine meaning 

If you come in contact with an infected person, you may or may not be infected with COVID-19 positive you should stay away from others.

If you cough in a gathering of 50, then all these people have to be quarantined. It is not known whether they have infection or not, they may develop infection within 3 to 5 days, so they have to be quarantined. 

Quarantine is for healthy people; they can be quarantined one-to-one in home, or a hotel or other special place assigned for quarantine.  However, remember in cohort quarantine; people are segregated depending on age.

Elderly patients should not be mixed with a lot of people younger than 40 years as people above the age of 60 years are high risk patients and have to be protected. So elderly (those above the age of 60 years) should be quarantined separately in age cohort quarantine. 

Dr. KK Aggarwal

Recipient of Padma Shri, Vishwa Hindi Samman, National Science Communication Award and Dr B C Roy National Award, Dr Aggarwal is a physician, cardiologist, spiritual writer and motivational speaker. He was the Past President of the Indian Medical Association and President of Heart Care Foundation of India. He was also the Editor in Chief of the IJCP Group, Medtalks and eMediNexus

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