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Experts advise on staying calm in crisis

Yang Meiping
Moderate anxiety can alert residents to taking proper precautions but being too anxious amid the ongoing epidemic needs intervention, according to Shanghai Mental Health Center.?
Yang Meiping

Experts are suggesting ways that city residents can stay calm while stuck at home during the ongoing epidemic.

“Moderate anxiety can keep citizens alerted to take proper protection measures, but over anxiety needs intervention,” Xie Bin, a doctor at Shanghai Mental Health Center, told a press conference on Thursday. “People with over anxiety should not avoid our center. If they need help, they can consult us.”

Xie has seven tips for residents: keep a healthy life pace; do two things that require concentration every day to distract yourself from the epidemic; exercise for at least 30 minutes every day; keep epidemic information within 40 percent of all the information you get every day; calm down by ways like deep breathing; have no fewer than 7 hours of sleep every night.

“If people still have symptoms like sleeplessness and panic, they can seek professional help, such as the online counseling service platform,” he said. “The Shanghai Mental Health Center has also launched online counseling platforms, self emotion evaluation tools and a psychological assistance hotline. People needing help can call 12320-5 or use our WeChat account.”

Zheng Jin, spokeswoman for the Shanghai Health Commission, said a 24-hour psychological health counseling hotline has provided 110 services since it was launched on February 4.

She also said online fever clinic and chronic disease consultation platforms established by 36 city-level hospitals had received more than 660,000 visitors and provided consultation services more than 30,000 times since January 29.

Fu Chen, director of Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, reminded residents not to over disinfect their homes.

“Most families only have to keep their homes clean and need no special disinfection,” he said. “Only when there are members infected or quarantined do the families need infection at key areas such as the toilets, kitchens, doorknobs and taps. Communities should focus on disinfection of key areas such as lifts and stair railings. There is no need to disinfect greenery in communities.”

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