The commonly observed symptoms among COVID-19 patients are fever, dry cough, tiredness and loss of taste or smell. Irritation in throat, headache, body ache, diarrhea, rash on skin and redness in eyes are also observed in rare cases. If you observe any of these symptoms, you should immediately isolate yourself from others. This was informed by Dr. Neeraj Nishchal of AIIMS Delhi, during a webinar on “Medication and Care in Home Isolation”, for patients who are tested positive for COVID-19. The webinar was organized by The Centre of Excellence of the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry.
80 per cent of infected patients experience very mild symptoms. If the RT-PCR test comes out to be negative, but symptoms are present, it is recommended to go for another test. Whether hospitalization is required is to be decided based on the intensity of the disease.
The medications are to be taken in proper quantity and at accurate timing. Knowing about the medicine is not enough; patients should also know how and when they are to be taken, only then would it prove to be beneficial, said Dr. Neeraj.
The decision of home isolation for patients above 60 years and with co-morbidities like Hypertension, Diabetes, Heart Disease, chronic ailments related to kidneys and lungs, should be taken only after consulting doctors.
Here are some measures COVID-19 positive patients need to take, as part of managing the infection.
Regular medicines should be taken, requirements for sanitization and cleanliness should be met. Medical grade masks should be stocked in advance. We should plan for daily essentials and prepare list of contact numbers for health-related information, health workers, hotlines, etc. Along with this, contact numbers of friends, other family members and neighbours should also be kept handy for emergency situations. Proper care and planning should be done also for the children in the family.
Mild and asymptomatic patients should be kept in home isolation. Such patients should take utmost care to keep safe distance from other family members, especially children. Medicines required frequently should be easily accessible by the patients. Proper and regular communication between caregiver and doctor is necessary. Positive patients should always wear three-layered mask. Masks should be discarded after proper sanitization every 8 hours. Patient and caregiver both should wear N-95 masks while interacting with each other.
Pulse Oximeter should be used to monitor oxygen levels in body, very carefully. Artificial nails or nail polish should be removed before use and patient’s hand should be warmed if it is cold. Take rest for at least five minutes before testing. If the observation is constant for five seconds, the figure indicates oxygen level in your body. Remdesivir should never be taken at home. Positive attitude and regular exercise are a must for patients in home isolation, said Dr. Neeraj.
If the oxygen level goes below 94, patients should be admitted, said Dr Manish of AIIMS Delhi, speaking about “Revised Guidelines for Mild COVID-19 patients during treatment’. While checking oxygen level, age of the patient and other chronic disease should be kept in mind.
Informing about the use of Ivermectin, Dr. Manish said that its use depends on the immunity level and other patient-specific conditions. The same holds for the use of Paracetamol. Hence it one should only the medication advised by doctors.
While informing about Fabiflu, he said, Maharashtra government’s guidelines regarding COVID-19 treatment mention use of Fabiflu. The recommendation is based on the research done by Glenmark on 150 patients but Ivermectin is not included in the guidelines.
Many patients insist on the use of Azithromycin, but the guidelines clearly discourage the use of these tablets. Same instructions are given about Revidox. It is not recommended to use Revidox in home isolation, said the doctor.
During the discussion, both experts clearly said that no medication should be taken during home isolation, without consulting doctors