When and Why To Go for a Test for Coronavirus (COVID-19)
A lot of people are under the impression that testing should be done for Covid-19 freely and some people are also under the impression that any citizen who wants to be tested should be allowed to be tested. Here is what Mahesh Murthy, private equity investor, who returned from a country that is considered to be safer, tweeted. He was not allowed to take a test for COVID-19. The reason, he neither had any symptoms, nor was the country they came from in the shortlist of unsafe countries. 
 
What is not understood is that even those who has suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) are not required to be tested. India has a population of 1.4 billion and, at present, there are just 150,000 kits available for testing COVID-19. We should not put pressure on the system and demand to be bested. 
 
According to doctors, COVID-19 infection will be mild, only like a respiratory viral fever for 85% of the population. Only when it refuses to die down after a few days should one be tested. 
 
Here is a basic check that you can do before deciding to go for the coronavirus testing…
 
Anybody who has flu or cold, should isolate himself/herself and follow these symptoms. 
 
First for the two days, you will just feel little fatigued.
 
Day 3: You may have mild fever with cough and itchy throat.
 
Day 4: A mild headache on and off.
 
Day 5: You might have some gastro-intestinal symptoms like diarrhoea or cramps along with headache and your fever might be normal or it might increase.
 
Day 6/7: You will feel more body pain, headaches will reduce, and diarrhoea might increase or reduce, but still have an upset stomach like loss of appetite symptoms.
 
Now here is what is very important.
 
Day 8-9: Most of your symptoms will reduce... This is what you have to keep watching. 
 
Your symptoms will reduce to lower fever, lower body pain, only your cough will persist with a running nose, which means you are somebody who have resisted this corona and already formed resistance to it and your body has improving. 
 
In such case, doctors say, you do not have to get tested for COVID-19 because your antibodies are already formed. 
 
However, if on Day 8 and 9, instead of starting to feel better (remember how it was with your flu and you are improving with your flu), your condition is getting worse, then it is time to call the COVID-19 helpline and get tested, the doctors added.
 
According to health care professionals, India has only 1,50,000 testing kits and we might get maximum of 1.5 million kits only. So the country cannot afford to test everybody who is having just flu at two-three days. 
 
Under this situation, doctors feel that everyone should wait and follow the symptomology mentioned above and only if it is worsening, then go for COVID-19 test. 
 
Testing should not be done as soon as you are afraid, doctors say, adding relatively healthy people should not draw upon scarce resources. 
 
For example hospitals and labs are struggling to get N95 masks. Masks are scarce now. Health workers do not have it. Similarly, do not waste test kits for COVID-19.
 
It will become a disaster for India if we waste our limited resources, the doctors concluded.  
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    COMMENTS

    archana_rahatade

    2 weeks ago

    Good one. Very informative, thanks .

    murgie

    2 weeks ago

    Does anyone know why South Korea was able to produce so many test kits, but India and the US, so few? I've not seen any explanation, even adjusting for Trump and Modi, that explains South Korea's relative ease in manufacturing test kits.

    With so few test kits it's hard to argue against rationing. Yet for mapping the spread of the disease -- useful for public health strategies -- tests need to be widespread.

    bajaj3

    3 weeks ago

    Let's all co-operate, and observe before requesting for test.

    Ramesh Popat

    3 weeks ago

    Good one!

    COVID-9: When and how to wear medical masks amid coronavirus spread
    Amid the rapid spread of coronavirus cases, there has been a mad rush to buy and stock medical masks in several countries including India. But does everybody need to wear a mask to protect themselves from the disease? And even if you need to, what are the right procedures to follow?
     
    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), wearing a medical mask is one of the prevention measures to limit the spread of certain respiratory diseases, including COVID-19, in affected areas. 
     
    However, the use of a mask alone is insufficient to provide the adequate level of protection and other equally relevant measures should be adopted. 
     
    If masks are to be used, this measure must be combined with hand hygiene and other infection prevention and control (IPC) measures to prevent the human-to-human transmission of the disease.
     
    India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also recently issued guidelines to increase awareness about the use of masks.
     
    The guidelines emphasise that medical masks should not be used by healthy persons who are not having any symptoms because it can create a false sense of security that can lead to neglecting other essential measures such as washing of hands.
     
    "Further, there is no scientific evidence to show health benefit of using masks for non-sick persons in the community. In fact erroneous use of masks or continuous use of a disposable
     
    mask for longer than 6 hours or repeated use of same mask may actually increase risk of getting an infection. It also incurs unnecessary cost," it added.
     
    If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected coronavirus infection.
     
    But you should also wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
     
    Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water, the guidelines added.
     
    Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
     
    Avoid touching the mask while using it. If you do, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
     
    Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
     
    To remove the mask, take it out from behind as touching the front of the mask is not advised. After removing the mask, you need to discard it immediately in a closed bin and clean the hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
     
    Medical masks of different size and shapes are available in the market. The common ones are flat pleated masks of woven fabric which cover the nose and mouth and are affixed behind the head with straps/elastic fasteners. 
     
    There are also conical or duck bill shaped masks with valves (or without valves) that fit in the contour of the face over the nose and mouth, but are costlier, according to the guidelines issued by the ministry.
     
    According to the WHO, the route of human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 is either via respiratory droplets or contact. Any person who is in close contact - within 1 metre -- with someone who has respiratory symptoms like sneezing, coughing, etc. is at risk of being exposed to potentially infective respiratory droplets.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
     
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    COMMENTS

    abdulrahamanyussif478

    3 weeks ago

    When will I be paid l please

    Not Every Common Cold, Cough and Fever is COVID-19
    Weather change that is associated with common cold cases in India in the month of March-April has left millions of people who are down with seasonal cough or cold symptoms self-isolating themselves -- an exercise which is only creating unnecessary fear in the country, say health experts.
     
    Doctors are flooded with patients who have normal cold or flu - along with conditions like anxiety and stress -- in the OPDs. They are very fearful and assuming it might be new coronavirus (COVID-19) disease although they just have seasonal symptoms. 
     
    "People having cough or cold symptoms are somewhat scared in view of the COVID-19 outbreak. Some might also fear disclosure in fear of being isolated. People with an anxious and oversensitive predisposition or hypochondriacal and obsessive symptoms are likely to worry a lot and engage in an unreasonably restricted lifestyle," Dr Sameer Malhotra, Head, department of mental health and behavioural science at Max Super Speciality Hospital in Saket told IANS.
     
    Despite the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) declaring there is no community transmission of the new coronavirus yet in the country, people in their sixties suffering from pre-existing conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure are becoming paranoid. 
     
    "They want to get themselves screened for it whether or not the symptoms fits the disease. At the same time, they're also worried about their family, especially the elderly," said Dr Mugdha Tapdiya, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj.
     
    Health experts are getting flu test, complete blood count and chest X-ray done wherever it is required. 
     
    "Once results are not suggestive of possibility of coronavirus disease, patients are at peace. If there is breathlessness or there are findings in chest, we also suggest CT scan of the chest area to be done," said Tapdiya. 
     
    Yes, there is a social pressure, admit doctors. 
     
    "In fact, one girl who came to me from an NGO wanted to work from home because she had lots of elderly colleagues.
     
    "She said since I'm suffering from flu, they're asking me to take leave and sit at home, which will be without pay. So there is a lot of social pressure especially in the private companies where people are not getting paid if they're sitting at home, that's why they're hiding symptoms," Tapdiya told IANS. 
     
    Our message to the society is that not every cold, cough and fever is COVID-19 disease. 
     
    "We need to understand that we are still at the stage II phase of the disease.
     
    COVID 19 is still prevalent among the travellers who are from overseas. We need to just relax and not be fearful for our fellow colleagues and household members as well who have symptoms of cold, cough and fever," said Tapdiya. 
     
    All with symptoms, however, must seek regular medical consultation without any fear.
     
    Malhotra said that it is important to follow the advisory issued by the government and doctors. 
     
    "One does need to be cautious and careful. At the same time, there is a need for more ICU beds and hospitals to avoid any shortage of services. The place of isolation should be comfortable both to the body and the mind, and clean," her added.
     
    Even during the phase of isolation or restricted socialisation, one should try to engage in some constructive hobbies like reading, sorting one's paperwork and listening to music, etc to avoid excessive worry.
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