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Coronavirus COVID-19 Symptoms India Update: 10 Do's And Don'ts

Coronavirus COVID-19 Symptoms India Update: 10 Do's And Don'ts

People across the world are worried about the rising cases of COVID-19, a highly contagious disease caused by the Novel Coronavirus that was first detected in China's Wuhan in December last year. What should you do if you're feeling any little ill, flu-ish and you are worried that you have symptoms of coronavirus?

  1. Do not rush to a government hospital that is testing for coronavirus. Hospitals might have a long waiting period and also have a high chance of you catching the virus while waiting at hospital. If you have any travel history to a country that is affected by COVID-19 in the past 14 days or have any contact history with someone who has tested positive you might need a test (especially if you have a fever and a dry cough).
  2. Phone a government hospital or helpline (unfortunately only a few private labs are allowed to test yet - and they haven't started wither because of certain restrictions which everyone is working to overcome) and ask them to send someone to your home to take a sample (it's a simple nasal and throat swab - no injection) from you for testing. They must come to your house and take the sample. If they don't agree, do not go to the hospital to get tested if there are long queues. There is a high probability that if you go to hospital and queue for hours, you will catch the infection there. Ask your doctor if you should stay at home in self-imposed isolation and quarantine. If you must be tested and you have to go to a hospital - try and stand apart in a queue, wear a mask, carry sanitizer. Most importantly, ask the hospital to allow you be in self-quarantine at home (test results are currently taking about 4 days) and not be forced to be in quarantine in the hospital (where you could be surrounded by infected patients).
  3. Make a list of all the people you have met in the last few days. Let each one of them know that you are not feeling well and you are in self-imposed isolation as a measure of precaution even though you have not yet been tested for coronavirus. This is even more important if by any chance you have been in contact with someone who has recently come to India from a country which has been hit by the coronavirus.
  4. Inside your home, keep at least 6 feet away at all times from your family members, especially elderly members as they are the most vulnerable. Disinfect and sanitise all door handles, knobs and any surfaces that you touch (The coronavirus can survive for possibly 8 hours or more on surfaces). All the implements you use to eat and drink must be sanitized and kept isolated only for your use.
  5. Be constantly in touch with your doctor and follow what she or he says. Do not follow treatment suggestions on WhatsApp or any social media. There is more disinformation than information being circulated and this is dangerous. You are allowed to have paracetamol (available under many different brand names). Drink lots of water. And rest, rest, rest.
  6. You should feel better within the next 5-7 days. Very, very few people are severely affected by the virus. So while you are in bed do not feel anxious and tense - you are going to get better. Just focus on not giving your infection to others in your home.
  7. In the unlikely case (very unlikely but possible) that you are one of the few who is finding it difficult to fight the virus, you may begin to experience breathing difficulties. If this happens, you do need to consider being admitted to a hospital as you may need ventilator oxygen support. Consequently, if you are facing breathing problems do go to a hospital.
  8. If you are an elderly person or you have diabetes or a heart disease or are generally not healthy - the decision to go to hospital should be earlier, perhaps after Day 2 if you're not feeling better. Go strictly by your doctor's advice on when and where to go to hospital.
  9. Always remember that the coronavirus is extremely infectious. Always be aware that it's your responsibility to society and to your country to do everything possible to protect others from being infected by you. For example, wearing a mask is primarily to prevent you giving your infection to others (the masks prevents tiny droplets when you cough or sneeze reaching others and infecting them); the masks are not very useful in protecting yourself. So always wear a mask as soon as you begin to feel unwell - protect others is also you motto.
  10. Finally, remember there are many reasons not to panic. First, there is only a small chance of you actually getting the coronavirus. Second, even if you do get it you are very, very, very likely to fight off the virus and to be well and fit in a week or so. Thirdly, China has actually given everyone hope with the tapering off of new cases - indicating that the coronavirus will hopefully come and go.

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