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Coronavirus Live Blog

Health Tips

FAQs

  • Which COVID-19 vaccines are licensed in India?

    Two vaccines were granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) in India, Covishield® (AstraZeneca's vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin (manufactured by Bharat Biotech Limited). Sputnik - V has been granted EUA in the month of April 2021.

  • Why vaccination is not provided to children who are usual target?

    COVID-19 affects all age groups; however, morbidity & mortality is several times higher in adults particularly in those above the age of 50 years. Children have either asymptomatic or mild infection. The general practice is to first evaluate any new vaccine in older population and then age reduction is done to assess the safety and effectiveness in paediatric population. The currently available vaccines have not been evaluated in children so far. There are some clinical trials now underway to test the effectiveness and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines in children.

  • Is it necessary for a COVID-19 recovered person to take the vaccine? And if I had COVID-19 infection and was treated, why should I receive the vaccine?

    Yes, it is advisable to receive complete schedule of COVID-19 vaccine irrespective of past history of infection with COVID-19. This will help in developing a strong immune response against the disease. Development of immunity or duration of protection after COVID-19 exposure is not established therefore it is recommended to receive vaccine even after COVID-19 infection. Wait for 4-8 weeks after recovery from COVID symptoms before getting the vaccine.

  • How to put on, use, take off and dispose of a mask?

    Before touching the mask, clean hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water Take the mask and inspect it for tears or holes. Orient which side is the top side (where the metal strip is). Ensure the proper side of the mask faces outwards (the coloured side). Place the mask to your face. Pinch the metal strip or stiff edge of the mask so it moulds to the shape of your nose. Pull down the mask’s bottom so it covers your mouth and your chin. After use, take off the mask; remove the elastic loops from behind the ears while keeping the mask away from your face and clothes, to avoid touching potentially contaminated surfaces of the mask. Discard the mask in a closed bin immediately after use. Perform hand hygiene after touching or discarding the mask – Use alcohol-based hand rub or, if visibly soiled, wash your hands with soap and water.

  • How long I will remain protected after vaccination?

    Longevity of the immune response in vaccinated individuals is yet to be determined. Hence, continuing the use of masks, handwashing, physical distancing and other COVID-19 appropriate behaviours is strongly recommended.

  • What precautions I need to take after receiving the vaccine?

    Both the vaccines are safe but in case of any discomfort or complaint, ask the beneficiary to visit the nearest health facility and/or call the health worker whose phone number is given in the Co-WIN SMS received after vaccination.

  • Does the vaccines provide herd immunity?

    When an increasing number of people get vaccinated in the community, indirect protection through herd immunity develops. The percentage of people who need to be immune in order to achieve herd immunity varies with each disease. For example, its 95% for measles, however the proportion of the population that must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to begin inducing herd immunity is not known.

  • Can CoVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?

    The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the period of transmission of COVID-19 and will continue to share updated findings.

  • What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms and when should I seek medical care?

    If you have minor symptoms, such as a slight cough or a mild fever, there is generally no need to seek medical care. Stay at home, self-isolate and monitor your symptoms. Follow national guidance on self-isolation.

    However, if you live in an area with malaria or dengue fever it is important that you do not ignore symptoms of fever. Seek medical help. When you attend the health facility wear a mask if possible, keep at least 1 metre distance from other people and do not touch surfaces with your hands. If it is a child who is sick help the child stick to this advice.

    Seek immediate medical care if you have difficulty breathing or pain/pressure in the chest. If possible, call your health care provider in advance, so he/she can direct you to the right health facility.

  • How can we protect others and ourselves if we don't know who is infected?

    Practicing hand and respiratory hygiene is important at ALL times and is the best way to protect others and yourself. When possible maintain at least a 1 meter distance between yourself and others. This is especially important if you are standing by someone who is coughing or sneezing. Since some infected persons may not yet be exhibiting symptoms or their symptoms may be mild, maintaining a physical distance with everyone is a good idea if you are in an area where COVID-19 is circulating.

  • What should I do if I have come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19?

    If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you may be infected.

    Close contact means that you live with or have been in settings of less than 1 metre from those who have the disease. In these cases, it is best to stay at home.

    However, if you live in an area with malaria or dengue fever it is important that you do not ignore symptoms of fever. Seek medical help. When you attend the health facility wear a mask if possible, keep at least 1 metre distant from other people and do not touch surfaces with your hands. If it is a child who is sick help the child stick to this advice.

    If you do not live in an area with malaria or dengue fever please do the following:

    * If you become ill, even with very mild symptoms you must self-isolate.

    * Even if you don’t think you have been exposed to COVID-19 but develop symptoms, then self-isolate and monitor yourself

    * You are more likely to infect others in the early stages of the disease when you just have mild symptoms, therefore early self-isolation is very important.

    * If you do not have symptoms, but have been exposed to an infected person, self-quarantine for 14 days.

    If you have definitely had COVID-19 (confirmed by a test) self-isolate for 14 days even after symptoms have disappeared as a precautionary measure – it is not yet known exactly how long people remain infectious after they have recovered. Follow national advice on self-isolation.

  • What does it mean to self-isolate?

    Self-isolation is an important measure taken by those who have COVID-19 symptoms to avoid infecting others in the community, including family members.

    Self-isolation is when a person who is experiencing fever, cough or other COVID-19 symptoms stays at home and does not go to work, school or public places. This can be voluntarily or based on his/her health care provider’s recommendation. However, if you live in an area with malaria or dengue fever it is important that you do not ignore symptoms of fever. Seek medical help. When you attend the health facility wear a mask if possible, keep at least 1 metre distant from other people and do not touch surfaces with your hands. If it is a child who is sick help the child stick to this advice.

    If you do not live in an area with malaria or dengue fever please do the following:

    If a person is in self-isolation, it is because he/she is ill but not severely ill (requiring medical attention)

    1. Have a large, well-ventilated with hand-hygiene and toilet facilities
    2. If this is not possible, place beds at least 1 metre apart
    3. Keep at least 1 metre from others, even from your family members
    4. Monitor your symptoms daily Isolate for 14 days, even if you feel healthy
    5. If you develop difficulty breathing, contact your healthcare provider immediately call them first if possible
    6. Stay positive and energized by keeping in touch with loved ones by phone or online, and by exercising yourself at home

  • What should I do if I have no symptoms, but I think I have been exposed to COVID-19? What does it mean to self-quarantine?

    To self-quarantine means to separate yourself from others because you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 even though you, yourself, do not have symptoms. During self-quarantine you monitor yourself for symptoms. The goal of the self-quarantine is to prevent transmission. Since people who become ill with COVID-19 can infect people immediately self-quarantine can prevent some infections from happening.

    In this case:

    - Have a large, well-ventilated single room with hand hygiene and toilet facilities
    - If this is not available place beds at least 1 metre apart
    - Keep at least 1-metre distance from others, even from your family members
    - Monitor your symptoms daily
    - Self-quarantine for 14 days, even if you feel healthy
    - If you develop difficulty breathing, contact your healthcare provider immediately – call them first if possible
    - Stay positive and energized by keeping in touch with loved ones by phone or online, and by exercising yourself at home

    However, if you live in an area with malaria or dengue fever it is important that you do not ignore symptoms of fever. Seek medical help. When you attend the health facility wear a mask if possible, keep at least 1 metre distant from other people and do not touch surfaces with your hands. If it is a child who is sick help the child stick to this advice.

  • What is the difference between self-isolation, self-quarantine and distancing?

    Quarantine means restricting activities or separating people who are not ill themselves but may have been exposed to COVID-19. The goal is to prevent spread of the disease at the time when people just develop symptoms.

    Isolation means separating people who are ill with symptoms of COVID-19 and may be infectious to prevent the spread of the disease.

    Physical distancing means being physically apart. WHO recommends keeping at least 1-metre distance from others. This is a general measure that everyone should take even if they are well with no known exposure to COVID-19.

  • What can I do to protect myself and prevent the spread of disease?

    Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Most countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and many are experiencing outbreaks. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing their outbreaks. However, the situation is unpredictable so check regularly for the latest news.

    You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

    * Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

    * Maintain at least 1 metre distance between yourself and others. Why? When someone coughs, sneezes, or speaks they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person has the disease.

    * Avoid going to crowded places. Why? Where people come together in crowds, you are more likely to come into close contact with someone that has COVID-19 and it is more difficult to maintain physical distance of 1 metre.

    * Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and infect you.

    * Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and wash your hands. Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

    * Stay home and self-isolate even with minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover. Have someone bring you supplies. If you need to leave your house, wear a mask to avoid infecting others. Why? Avoiding contact with others will protect them from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.

    * If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, but call by telephone in advance if possible and follow the directions of your local health authority. Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

    * Keep up to date on the latest information from trusted sources, such as WHO or your local and national health authorities. Why? Local and national authorities are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

Myth-Busters

The COVID-19 virus can spread in hot and humid climates
The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by maintaining physical distance of at least 1 metre from others and frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
People should NOT wear masks while exercising
Vitamin and mineral supplements cannot cure COVID-19
Hand sanitizers can be used often
Alcohol-based sanitizers are safe for everyone to use
Alcohol-based sanitizers can be used in religions where alcohol is prohibited
It is safer to frequently clean your hands and not wear gloves
Touching a communal bottle of alcohol-based sanitizer will not infect you
Is dexamethasone a treatment for all COVID-19 patients?
Can shoes spread the COVID-19 virus?
5G mobile networks do not spread COVID-19
Exposing yourself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25°C degrees does not prevent the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
You can recover from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Catching the new coronavirus does not mean you will have it for life
Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort does not mean you are free from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or any other lung disease
Drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous
Cold weather and snow cannot kill the new coronavirus
Taking a hot bath does not prevent the new coronavirus disease
The new coronavirus cannot be transmitted through mosquito bites
Are hand dryers effective in killing the new coronavirus?
Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus?
Thermal scanners CANNOT detect COVID-19
Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kill the new coronavirus?
Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus?
Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?
Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?
Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?
Drinking methanol, ethanol or bleach DOES NOT prevent or cure COVID-19 and can be extremely dangerous
Spraying and introducing bleach or another disinfectant into your body WILL NOT protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous
COVID-19 IS NOT transmitted through houseflies
Adding pepper to your soup or other meals DOES NOT prevent or cure COVID-19
There are currently no drugs licensed for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19
Most people who get COVID-19 recover from it
The prolonged use of medical masks* when properly worn, DOES NOT cause CO2 intoxication nor oxygen deficiency
Studies show hydroxychloroquine does not have clinical benefits in treating COVID-19
An alcohol-based handrub is listed as a WHO essential medicine
The amount of alcohol-based sanitizer you use matters
Water or swimming does not transmit the COVID-19 virus
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Coronavirus, an infectious disease which can easily transfer from one person to another, has been spreading unabated across nations. The deadly disease belongs to a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Due to coronavirus or COVID-19 that had originated late last year in a food market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, worldwide, thousands of people have died and lakhs have got infected. The World Health Organization has already declared coronavirus as “Global Pandemic” as it has affected millions of people around the globe.

In India, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases and casualties are increasing with each passing day. Amid the coronavirus scare in India, various states have announced a lockdown. The government has also ordered states to "strictly enforce lockdown" and asked for legal action against those who violated the restriction.

According to health experts, India's cases have been growing at a rate seen during the early stages of the outbreak in other countries, which subsequently reported an exponential increase in infections. As per the Indian Council of Medical Research, currently, India is in stage two of transmission, where the virus infects people directly in contact with affected patients who returned from abroad.