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I Tested Positive for COVID-19. What should I do now?

So, one of your worst nightmares has come true and you have tested positive for COVID-19. First of all, do not panic! While the degree of illness will differ from patient to patient, good medication and enough rest help most patients to recover. Trust your body to heal sooner and contact your healthcare provider at the earliest.

The below pointers will provide you with a brief guide on how to manage this condition and protect others around you.

What are the steps to follow once you have tested positive for COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), once you test positive, isolate yourself and the people with whom you have been close contact with up to 2 days before when they first developed symptoms. Although WHO[1] recommends that even mild cases should be admitted at health care centres, in case healthcare settings have exhausted their capacity, older people should be prioritised and the rest should be home quarantined.

Make sure to intimate people with whom you have had close contact so that they can get themselves tested.

Scenario (1) Asymptomatic patients

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)[2], if you have tested positive for COVID-19, however, suffer from no symptoms, you can be with others if 10 days have passed since you tested positive.

Monitor your symptoms and watch for fever or any extreme parameters. Call your healthcare practitioner first and accordingly take a decision.

Precautions to be followed:

  • Isolate yourself from family members and pets in a separate room that has enough ventilation

  • If possible, use a separate bathroom

  • Remember to cover your coughs and sneezes

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often

  • In case, there is a requirement for a family member to come in contact with you, remember to maintain a distance of at least 1 metre[3]

  • Know more about CORONAVIRUS HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS

Scenario (2) You suffer fromsymptoms

Considering the stress on healthcare systems, most patients suffering from mild symptoms are advised to recover at home. However, if you suffer from severe symptoms[4] like difficulty in breathing or have a weakened immune system, it is best to consult your doctor and make an informed decision. Check your state government's website for a list of approved centres for the treatment of patients suffering from coronavirus. Remember to call before visiting the doctor. In such cases, you might be advised to be isolated for more than 10 days and undergo a repeat test. Once you have received at least two negative reports, 24 hours apart, you may be allowed to be with others.

For any kind of emergency or COVID 19-related queries, you may call round-the-clock helplineof State Helpline/Ministry of Health & Family Welfare’s at 1075 or 011-23978046.Depending on your health condition, your doctor will advise you on home recovery or to get admitted in a healthcare centre[5]. Typically, older people and those with underlying healthcare conditionsshould be admitted, especially if they have severe symptoms.

Precautions to be followed[6]:

  • The patient is advised to wear a triple-layered surgical mask and dispose it after 8 hours of use or in case of it getting soiled

  • Before you dispose of the mask, make sure you sanitise it in 1% sodium hypochlorite or bleach solution for at least 10 minutes.

  • Make sure you have one person to take care of you and maintain communication with your nearest healthcare provider

  • Remain hydrated and consume at least 3-4 simple meals

  • Keep checking your temperature and pulse rate at least two times a day

  • Contact your health practitioner immediately if you have a fever above 100 degreeCelsius or have a pulse rate of more than 100 per minute

  • Use hand gloves while cleaning

  • Regularly disinfect surfaces such as chairs, tables, etc., which are frequently used

  • Bear in mind to not reuse a disposable mask

  • Do not consume alcohol or smoke during this period

Scenario (3) You are an expectant mother

In case you are an expectant mother[7], ensure that you contact your maternity care centreimmediately if you develop severe symptoms. Your obstetrician will be able to guide you, regarding the further steps to be taken. Always be accompanied by at least one healthy caregiver. After delivery, if you are under temporary isolation, your doctor may advise you to express your breastmilk to maintain milk supply.

Conclusion

For more information about COVID-19, you can refer the ICMR to get updated information about testing centres, hospitals,and other guidelines. Lastly, it is crucial that one does not attach any stigma to a being a COVID-19 positive patient or a caretaker of one. Follow the guidelines and take proper medication as advised by your doctor. In case of severe illness, a health insurance plan that covers treatment of Covid-19 i.e. CORONA KAVACH POLICY will help you manage your medical expenses without causing financial distress. Contact your financial advisor, regarding the best health care plan that will suit you and your family's needs. Heal well!

Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purpose only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.


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