Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19)
What is Corona Virus (COVID-19)?
COVID-19 stands for Corona Virus Disease 2019, an infectious disease caused by a new recently discovered novel Corona Virus. On 11 February 2020, WHO announced the name for this new coronavirus disease: COVID-19.
Things to know
- When a person suffering from this disease sneezes or coughs, a lot of droplets spread in the air or fall on the ground and nearby surfaces.
- If another person is nearby and inhales the droplets or touches these surfaces and then touches his face, eyes or mouth, he can get the infection.
- The chances are more if one is within a distance of less than 1 meter from the infected person.
- Majority of the people (80%) will require no treatment as such and will recover on their own.
- A small proportion (<20%) may need hospitalization.
- A very small proportion (mainly with underlying chronic illness) may need admission in intensive care unit (ICU).
- This disease is known to occur in all age groups.
- It can spread to children as well through the other person suffering from the disease in the household.
- The infection is generally mild in children.
- Older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) are at a high risk to develop serious illness.
According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can live in the air and on surfaces between several hours and several days. The study found that the virus is viable for:
- up to 72 hours on plastics
- 48 hours on stainless steel
- 24 hours on cardboard
- 4 hours on copper
- It is also detectable in the air for three hours
However, this may vary under different conditions. If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others.
Coronavirus symptoms mirror those of the flu, as the body similarly responds to the invading virus.
- A cough
- A high temperature 100.4°F upwards
- Shortness of breath
- As the virus progresses, it can cause a variety of other, severe effects.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that many people come in contact with. These include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. Avoid touching high-contact surfaces in public.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds immediately when you return home from a public place such as the bank or grocery store.
- When in a public space, put a distance of six feet between yourself and others.
- Most importantly, stay home if you are sick and contact your nearest medical facility for Corona Virus Management.
- As on date there is no specific treatment for Corona Virus infection.
- Treatment for Corona Virus infection consists of symptomatic treatment.
- Since it is a viral infection, so in more than 80% of the cases it recovers within few days.
- A small proportion may need admission in hospital/ICU if they are having symptoms of severe disease.
Persons having no symptoms are not to use mask. Medical masks should not be used by healthy persons who are not having any symptoms because it creates a false sense of security that can lead to neglecting other essential measures such as washing of hands.
In such situation, more effective steps are:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds. An alcohol based hand sanitizer with 70% alcohol must be used for 20 seconds. If hands are dirty or soiled, do not use alcohol based hand sanitizer, but wash hands preferably with soap and water.
- While coughing or sneezing cover nose and mouth with handkerchief, paper tissue. If handkerchief or tissue paper is not available, cough into the flexed elbow. Dispose off tissue immediately after use and wash hands.
- Refrain from touching face, mouth, nose and eyes.
- Stay at least a meter away from those coughing or sneezing.
Monitor your body temperature.
- When a person develops cough or fever. Use of medical three layer masks when ill, will prevent your infection from spreading to others. However, you also need to wash your hands frequently to avoid spreading infection to others.
- While visiting a healthcare facility.
- When you are caring for an ill person.
- Close family contacts of such suspect/confirmed cases undergoing home care should also use triple layer medical mask.
If you have any of the above symptoms and have travelled to any of the COVID-19 affected countries or you are a contact of a laboratory confirmed positive case then immediately call the State Helpline Number or Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India’s 24×7 helpline
- Central Helpline Nos.: +91-11-23978046, Toll Free No: 1075
- West Bengal: 1800 313 444 222 (Toll Free), 033-23412600
- Tripura: 0381-2315879
- Assam: +91-6913347770
- Bihar: 104
- Jharkhand: 104
- Sikkim: 104
- Odisha: +91-9439994859
The helpline desk will note down your contact details and contact you with the testing protocols of COVID-19.
If you qualify as a case for testing as per the protocol, you will be tested at a government approved lab only.
- There is no specific recommendation on Corona Virus infection, however, one can continue to take his/her regular diet which includes fruits, vegetables etc. to stay healthy.
- As of now, there is no vaccine available for the treatment of Covid-19 infection.
Are we well equipped to deal with the Corona Virus crisis?
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has taken adequate steps in this direction to equip the designated healthcare facilities to take care of the infected Corona Virus patients, should they require an admission.
The relevant SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for isolation and home quarantine, sample testing, laboratory facilities and discharge of the admitted patients are well available in the public domain on the website of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (https://www.mohfw.gov.in/)