COVID-19: TABALA and ATS (Alabama Tamil Sangham) initiatives

As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has made life difficult for everyone. There is no single person that is not affected one way or the other by this outbreak. We would like to bring your kind attention to a particular group of our community who needs your help. There are lots of students in and around UAB and also few others who are on different VISA statuses that have been affected more than others in the current situation. 
We are actively talking to several Indian students and UAB-AIS to understand their needs. There are around 200 Indian students and some of them will need help.
TABALA Executive committee will reach out the needy people and try to help them out. Just to have a point of contact, Gopi Yeleswarapu can be reached @ 251-786-3263 with their requirements.
You can make a monetary contribution  using the link below and we will make sure the money will reach the needy. All your contributions are Tax deductible. 


As always, in service of the community,


TABALA – All You Need To Know!


Namaste!  As the Coronavirus crisis is engulfing the globe, we at TABALA feel it is necessary to keep our communities empowered by providing all the relevant facts and official guidelines for handling this crisis safely and without panicking.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause infection in humans or animals. Sometimes an animal coronavirus can change so that it can infect people and become a human coronavirus. There are seven known types of human coronaviruses. Four types are common and cause mild to moderate respiratory infections, like the common cold. Two types, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), can cause severe respiratory infections. The seventh type (2019-nCoV) is a new coronavirus recently discovered in China and is now named COVID-19. Public health officials are trying to learn more about this new virus and the deadly infection it causes.
Novel coronavirus:
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus strain that has not been previously found in humans.

Learn more about coronaviruses:
Please visit the following links for useful and current details about the COVID-19 pandemic:


Known Coronavirus Strains:
Most people become infected with coronaviruses that cause the common cold at some point during their lives. These infections often occur in the fall or winter.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a type of coronavirus infection discovered in China in 2002. The virus that causes SARS quickly spread to more than two dozen countries in North America, South America, Europe and Asia before it was controlled. During the 2002-2003 outbreak, nearly 8,100 people became infected. In the United States, eight people with laboratory-confirmed SARS infection were identified and they had traveled to areas where the virus was spreading. No deaths were reported in the United States then. Since 2004, no cases of SARS have been reported in the world.
Another type of coronavirus infection is Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Since it was discovered in 2012, nearly 2,500 people with MERS have been identified. All these cases have been linked to travel to or residence in and near the Arabian Peninsula. Countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula include Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Two people in the United States have had MERS and both traveled to Saudi Arabia where they likely became infected.

Coronaviruses typically cause symptoms such as dry cough, sore throat, and fever.
Sometimes, coronaviruses can cause more severe infections, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs), kidney failure, or even death.

Common Cold, Flu, Allergies & COVID-19 Differences
Since coronavirus infections share some of the symptoms commonly experienced with common cold flu and allergies, it is important to know the telling signs of a potential coronavirus infection to avoid unnecessary panic.  Please see b elow to know the differences:

Occurrence of symptoms after exposure to coronavirus:
It depends on the type of coronavirus. In general, symptoms usually appear 2-14 days after exposure.

Diagnosing coronavirus infections:
Special laboratory tests for respiratory specimens or blood samples are needed to diagnose coronavirus infection. This testing is more likely to be used if you have severe symptoms or if your infection might be caused by an uncommon strain of coronavirus like Covid19.
Treatment for coronaviruses:
There is no specific treatment for coronavirus infections. Treatment consists of supportive care and relief of symptoms.
Please follow this link to find a testing facility closest to you:

Also, please note that your doctor can collect specimens and order COVID-19 testing from the following facilities:

•    The LabCorp 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), NAA test is available for ordering by physicians or other authorized healthcare providers anywhere in the U.S.

•    Quest Diagnostics is proud to begin testing for COVID-19. This test is to be performed only using respiratory specimens collected from individuals who meet CDC clinical and/or epidemiological criteria for COVID-19 testing. Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Centers and other phlebotomy sites cannot collect specimens for this test.

Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, close personal contact (such as caring for or living with an infected person), or touching an object or surface with the virus on it and then touching your mouth or eyes before washing your hands. Three human coronaviruses (SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and 2019-nCoV) are also thought to spread from infected animals to people through contact.

A vaccine to prevent coronavirus infection is not currently available. People should follow these tips to help prevent respiratory illnesses of any kind:

•    Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
•    Wash your hands after coughing and sneezing, before and after caring for an ill person, before preparing foods and before eating.
•    Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then throw the tissue in the trash.
•    Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
•    Avoid close contact (such as kissing, sharing cups, or sharing eating utensils) with people who are sick, or if you don’t know whom they have been in contact with.
•    Always clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys and doorknobs, until the threat of coronavirus goes away. To be safe, please observe this step until a coronavirus vaccine is made widely available.
•    Stay home when you are sick, except when you need to get medical care.
•    Wash hands after animal contact and after visiting farms, markets, barns, petting zoos, and agricultural fairs. Do this before you touch any part of your body or any surface that could potentially transmit infections to others.
•    Avoid contact with animals that are sick.

Please follow this link to find answers from CDC for your travel related questions:

Is it safe to go on a cruise?
Cruises put large numbers of people, often from countries around the world, in frequent and close contact with each other. This can promote the spread of respiratory viruses, such as the virus that causes COVID-19. You may get sick from close contact with an infected person or by touching contaminated surfaces.

CDC recommends travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel at this time.  To reduce spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, CDC recommends:
•    Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease. This entails avoiding crowded places, avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips, and especially avoiding embarking on cruise ships.
•    Discuss cruise ship travel with your healthcare provider prior to travel.
•    Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
•    Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
•    Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
•    If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
•    Stay in your cabin when you are sick and let the onboard medical center know immediately if you develop a fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), begin to feel feverish, or have other symptoms (such as cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, or sore throat).
What is the risk of getting COVID-19 on an airplane?
Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on airplanes. Although the risk of infection on an airplane is low, travelers should try to avoid contact with sick passengers and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer that contain 60%-95% alcohol.

Indian travel rules
Please follow this link for important information if you are planning travel to India:

International travel rules

Please follow this link for important information if you are planning international travel:



Please follow this link to find answers from CDC for your travel related questions:
•    Avoid all possible non-essential travel either domestic or international.
•    Avoid large gatherings and crowds. Travelers from other parts of China who do not have any symptoms are being asked to monitor their health and practice social distancing for 14 days.
•    If you come into contact with anyone effected by COVID-19 or any one travelled and came back from China or Italy before 14 days incubation period, then please quarantine yourself to avoid any additional spread of the virus.
•    Avoid public places where close contact with others may occur (such as shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums).
•    Workplaces (unless the person works in an office space that allows distancing from others).
•    Schools and other classroom settings.
•    Local public transportation (such as on a bus, subway, taxi, ride share, plane, ship)

There is no need to panic and all we need to do is to follow all steps for supportive care and relief of symptoms prescribed by doctors and public health authorities to get through this most serious health crisis of our times.


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