Protect yourself and others!

What is COVID-19 and How does it spread?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease affecting the respiratory system caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus.

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

Symptoms Of COVID-19

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are below mentioned. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention immediately.

  • Fever

  • Breathing Difficulty

  • Dry cough

  • Aches & Pains

  • Nasal Congestion

  • Sore throat or Diarrhea

Follow these Do's and Don'ts

Do's

Practice frequent hand washing. Wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol based hand rub. Wash hands even if they are visibly clean

Cover your nose and mouth with handkerchief/tissue while sneezing and coughing

Throw used tissues into closed bins immediately after use

See a doctor if you feel unwell (fever, difficult breathing and cough). While visiting doctor wear a mask/cloth to cover your mouth and nose

If you have these signs/symptoms please call State helpline number or Ministry of Health & Family Welfare’s 24X7 helpline at 011-23978046

Avoid participating in large gatherings

Dont's

Have a close contact with anyone, if you’re experiencing cough and fever

Touch your eyes, nose and mouth

Spit in public

Frequently Asked Questions

Is wearing a mask and sanitizing hands not enough? What all precautions should we be taking in our day-to-day lives?

First and foremost, everyone must minimize/restrict moving out of their homes. If you do need to go out, try to avoid closed spaces especially where there is recirculating air and crowded areas. Always maintain adequate physical distance when interacting with people and avoid all forms of close contact including hugging, handshake, social kissing, etc. Always insist that the person you are interacting with is also properly masked.
When stepping out, make sure that you wear a proper mask (triple-layered or 3 ply mask with a snug fit) throughout the period that you are out. If you are going to be in a closed area or an area with recirculating air, then a double mask is recommended.
While at home or in the office - try & maintain good air circulation with as much fresh air as possible. Try to avoid the use of lifts/elevators as much as possible.
Frequent hand sanitization is recommended – the best is washing your hands with soap and water. Washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is essential after going to the washroom, before eating, after coughing, sneezing, blowing one's nose, or touching a surface that may be contaminated. If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers (minimum 60% alcohol) should be used.
Avoid unnecessarily touching the areas around your nose and mouth.

Which mask to be used for maximum protection? Is wearing 2 masks better than wearing one?

Following proper mask etiquette is as important as wearing a mask. Never touch the outer surface of your mask with bare hands. Always ensure that you are taking off your mask by using the ear strings rather than pulling it off. Keep the mask in a clean area when not in use. Whichever mask you are wearing; you should ensure that the fit & sealing is good. Masks with in-built nose clips are better since they fit more snugly
Simple cloth masks, gym masks, and single-layered masks do not offer adequate protection. The following types of masks may be used:

  • 3 ply surgical mask- Surgical disposable masks
  • 3 layered Cloth mask
  • N95 or similar grade masks are recommended for healthcare workers. One may consider wearing it if visiting high-risk areas/ or interacting with COVID suspect/patient.

For best results, it is advisable to wear a disposable surgical mask or a cloth mask that may be worn on top of a disposable 3 ply surgical mask to ensure better fit & sealing around corners.
Doctors use a combination of N95 Masks & disposable 3 ply surgical masks, but that is not recommended for routine use by the general public.
Even when you are wearing a proper mask, all other precautions mentioned above should be observed to reduce the risk of contracting the infection.

How to help if oxygen levels are dipping down every moment?

Firstly, always follow the instructions given by your treating doctor including when to reach out for help. Usually, a respiratory Rate of >= 24/min along with SpO2 levels (oxygen saturation) of <=93%, Heart Rate < 40 or> 141 are considered as warning signs.
A sensitive indicator of dipping saturation is the 6-minute walk test. This test is useful from day 3 till day 6 from the day of appearance of the symptoms. If the patient de-saturates 5% (means if SpO2 level of patient falls by 5%) after walking for 6 minutes, this is indicative of pneumonia & is an emergency. If you’re above 60, then you can take this test for 3 minutes to check for indications of dipping saturation levels.
In case of warning signs or if the condition deteriorates, please get in touch with your treating doctor or consider taking the patient to the hospital.
Awake Proning i.e. making the patient lie on the stomach is found to be very effective in improving the saturation levels – many patients can avoid unnecessary hospitalization by this simple technique. Proning should be encouraged in all patients requiring supplemental Oxygen Therapy.
For monitoring oxygen saturation, it is recommended that you buy a good quality FDA/ CE approved device to avoid incorrect readings.

What are the helpline numbers?

Government central helpline number for Corona-virus:+91-11-23978046

Helpline Numbers of States & Union Territories (UTs)

S. No Name of the State Helpline Nos.
1 Andhra Pradesh 0866-2410978
2 Arunachal Pradesh 9436055743
3 Assam 6913347770
4 Bihar 104
5 Chhattisgarh 104
6 Goa 104
7 Gujarat 104
8 Haryana 8558893911
9 Himachal Pradesh 104
10 Jharkhand 104
11 Karnataka 104
12 Kerala 0471-2552056
13 Madhya Pradesh 104
14 Maharashtra 020-26127394
15 Manipur 3852411668
16 Meghalaya 108
17 Mizoram 102
18 Nagaland 7005539653
19 Odisha 9439994859
20 Punjab 104
21 Rajasthan 0141-2225624
22 Sikkim 104
23 Tamil Nadu 044-29510500
24 Telangana 104
25 Tripura 0381-2315879
26 Uttarakhand 104
27 Uttar Pradesh 18001805145
28 West Bengal 1800313444222, 03323412600
S. No Name of Union Territory Helpline Nos.
1 Andaman and Nicobar Islands 03192-232102
2 Chandigarh 9779558282
3 Dadra and Nagar Haveli and 104
4 Delhi 011-22307145
5 Jammu & Kashmir 01912520982, 0194-2440283
6 Ladakh 01982256462
7 Lakshadweep 104
8 Puducherry 104

Am I at the risk of COVID-19 from packages and products?

Current evidence suggests that the risk of transmission is highest through person-to-person contact and airborne spread. However, the risk of contracting the virus from packages & products should always be considered.
Recommended practice is to sanitize/disinfect all the packages & products coming from outside. You may use Alcohol wipes, sprays, or soap water to clean & disinfect the packages. After handling the package or article, please sanitize your hands with soap and water or with hand sanitizer.

What is the risk of my child becoming sick with COVID-19?

New strains of the virus are being reported that are infecting the younger population also. Therefore, it is advisable to quarantine the COVID positive patient to avoid any cross infection to kids or other family members.
In the current situation, children should be considered at equal risk and encouraged to follow all precautions. Like adults, children with pre-existing health problems like asthma, heart disease, genetic diseases, etc are at higher risk and therefore proper care should be taken.

When should I seek emergency care if I have COVID-19?

Try and take help via teleconsultation from your Doctor and keep a close watch on the vitals (Blood Pressure, Temperature, Pulse Rate, Respiratory Rate) & SpO2 of the patient. Although most of the patients recover safely at home, monitoring of vital signs and saturation levels is very important. Continuous breathlessness, respiratory Rate of >= 24/min along with SpO2 levels of <=93% suggest that the disease is progressing to a moderate level & the patient may require medical attention.
As per the national guidelines, SpO2 levels (oxygen saturation) of <=93% with Respiratory Rate of>= 24/min & Heart Rate <40 or> 141 are considered warning signs. Reach out to your treating doctor in case any of these is seen. For a 6-minute walk test – see note below. If you’re above 60, then you can take this test for 3 minutes to check for indications of dipping saturation levels.
Apart from these, some of the uncommon signs for seeking urgent care include a dip in the level of consciousness, bluish discoloration of the skin around lips and nail beds, inability to stay alert, etc.
Note: A sensitive indicator of dipping saturation is the 6-minute walk test. This test is useful from day 3 till day 6 from the day of appearance of the symptoms. If the patient de-saturates 5% (means if SpO2 level of patient falls by 5%) after walking for 6 minutes, this is indicative of pneumonia & is an emergency.

Do disinfectants kill new strains of Covid-19?

The best way to prevent the spread of infections and decrease the risk of getting sick is by washing your hands with soap and water. Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is essential, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Can COVID-19 happen twice, even after getting vaccinated?

Yes, there have been certain reported cases of COVID reinfection in patients who had the disease/infection earlier and infection in vaccinated people. The effectiveness of vaccines against different strains varies. Since new viral strains will continue to emerge chances of reinfection after vaccination will always be there. Therefore, please follow all COVID guidelines.
Vaccination does not guarantee that you will not be infected with the virus or that you will not spread the virus to others. Vaccines help reduce the duration & severity of the disease. All precautions and COVID-appropriate behavior should be followed by all people irrespective of vaccination.

What all do I need to disinfect every day and with what frequency?

Frequent disinfection of household items & surfaces has not shown to be of great benefit in reducing the risk of infection. In case disinfection is required because of the presence of a COVID suspect/ patient, soap water/ Detergent/ Alcohol-based wipes/Alcohol sprays, etc. are the best ways to sanitize. Surface and devices which are frequently touched may be considered for regular cleaning and disinfection; however, more important is to minimize direct contact & follow frequent handwashing.
Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is essential, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Can I go for a walk?

Yes, you can go out for a walk outdoors but with proper precautions and follow the guidelines. Keep your masks on, avoid crowded places & maintain a safe distance of 6 ft at all times.
Please note that studies indicate that people who exercise regularly have a lower risk of getting severe COVID-19 disease.

Can I get the COVID-19 virus from my pet?

Till now there is no firm evidence to suggest that pets can be a source of infection.
As a good practice, it is advisable to minimize your pet's interaction with people from outside your household. When outdoors, make sure that your pet is on a leash and at an adequate distance from other people and pets.

If I have recovered from COVID-19, do I need to get vaccinated?

If you have already had COVID-19 and have recovered, you should still get the vaccine.
However, it is best to seek an opinion from your treating doctor before considering vaccination in such a case.

There are many Covid positive people in my neighbourhood.I am pregnant …what precautions should I take?

Stay alert and safe with social distancing, appropriate usage of face mask, follow hand hygiene. Stay indoors.

I am pregnant and my family member has turned Covid positive. What should I do?

First isolate from the affected member. Wear mask at home all the time. You can get a nasopharyngeal swab test done for RTPCR.
Do not panic. In case you develop any symptoms of fever cough or sore throat, you can get yourself tested if not already done.

I am pregnant and I got to know I am Covid positive. What do I do?

Do not panic. Most pregnant women who are Covid positive have either an asymptomatic course or a mild illness and can be managed at home.
You drink plenty of fluids, remain active and have a well balanced diet with fruits and vegetables. If you have fever, then take paracetamol 650 mg thrice a day. Please check your oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter at rest and after a six minute walk. If the oxygen saturation at rest ,is more than 94 % and after a six minute walk it does not drop more than 3 percent ,that would mean you can be managed at home. In case saturation is less than 94% at rest, or if normal at rest but drops by more than 3 percent after a six minute walk test, your health care provider may advise admission for monitoring. Be in touch with your health care provider on telephone or through video consultation.

What effect will Covid 19 have on my baby if I get infected with the virus?

Current evidence suggests that the virus is unlikely to cause problems with your baby`s development or increase your chance of a miscarriage. Transmission of covid 19 from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth seems to be uncommon , irrespective of the mode of delivery( i.e normal or Caesarean section).

I am pregnant and Covid positive, due for an ultrasound and a visit to my doctor. Should I be going to the hospital or wait for my quarantine period to get over?

If you are due for your antenatal checkups or scans , you can delay them for a two week timeframe after consulting your health care provider on telephone or via video consultation.

I am in my third trimester and covid positive. What should I be doing if I have an emergency?

If you are in your third trimester close to the delivery date, please report to the hospital in case you have symptoms of vaginal bleeding, pain or a water break. In such situations, you will have to inform your health care provider you are reaching the hospital and they would have made special arrangements to see you in an area which is cordoned off for Covid positive patients.

I am Covid positive and due for delivery. Can I have a normal labour ? Will my doctor take care of me?

The mode of labour does not change just because you are Covid positive. Nowadays most hospitals take care of Covid positive labouring women in an isolation unit. The doctors taking care of you will be visiting you with personal protective instrument and attend to your labour or Caesarean section. Generally, you will be taken care of in the Covid wards.Your baby will be roomed in with you.You can breastfeed and while breastfeeding to prevent transmission to your baby, you need to use face mask and practice hand hygiene measures.It is also recommended that in your room the baby is kept about six feet away from your bed.

What are the red flag signs(dangerous signs) for me to report to the health care provider immediately when I am Covid positive?

  • Fever lasting more than three days and temperature not relenting with paracetamol
  • Oxygen saturation dropping to less than 94 percent at rest.
  • After a six minute walk, if the oxygen saturation drops by three percent lesser than the resting value.
  • Breathlessness, cough with expectoration.
  • Diarrhoea
  • Pregnancy related red flag signs are decreased baby movements, vaginal bleeding, blurring of vision.
  • Severe or continuous headache not relieved by paracetamol.
  • Abdominal pain

I am pregnant. Can I take the vaccine against Covid 19?

At present, sufficient safety data for vaccines against covid 19 being used in India is not available, and the Govt. of India has not authorised the use in pregnant women or those breastfeeding.
Theoretically, the vaccines ideally need to to be given to protect both mother and child against Covid 19, as benefits of vaccination outweigh risks. Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine have been authorised for use in pregnant women but are not available in India at present.

After recovering from Covid, I am feeling sad and hopeless, unable to sleep, and having lack of interest/pleasure in doing things. What should I do?

Try to vent out your problems with your family members . With adequate family support, you can overcome this. However, if these feelings continue, do not hesitate to seek help of a counsellor

What is Home Quarantine?

It is intended for people without symptoms of COVID-19 to avoid contact with other people as much as possible as a precautionary measure to prevent the possible spread of Corona virus.

What should a home quarantine person do?

  • Stay alone in a well-ventilated single-room with an attached toilet.

  • Maintain at least 1-meter distance from other family members.

  • Stay away from elderly, pregnant women, children and persons with any chronic illness.

  • Avoid sharing household Items e.g. dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with other people at home.

  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Wear a mask at all times.

  • Do not attend any social/religious gathering or visit public spaces.

  • If any symptoms appear, immediately call the central helpline.

Duration of Home Quarantine?

14 Days from contact with a confirmed case or earlier if a suspect case of whom the index person is a contact turns out negative on laboratory testing.

What You Should Do?

  • Wash hands often with soap and water.

  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Wear a surgical mask - If you are symptomatic of COVID-19 or are exposed to an infected person. Never reuse disposable mask.

  • Used masks should be disinfected using ordinary bleach solution (5%) or sodium hypochlorite solution (1%) and then disposed of either by burning or deep burial.

  • If symptoms appear (cough/fever/difficulty in breathing), he/she should immediately inform the nearest health centre or call 01123978046.

Safety Measures

  • Only one assigned family member should be taking care of the quarantined person.

  • Avoid sharing linen or direct contact with skin.

  • Use disposable gloves when cleaning the surfaces or handling soiled linen.

  • Wash hands after removing gloves.

  • Visitors should not be allowed.

  • In case the person being quarantined becomes symptomatic, all his/her close contacts will be home quarantine (for 14 days) and followed up for an additional 14 days or till the report of such case turns out negative on lab testing

ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION

  • Clean and disinfect.

  • Frequently touched surfaces in the quarantined person's room (e.g. bed frames, tables, etc.) daily with disinfectant solution.

  • Toilet surfaces daily with regular household bleach solution/ phenolic disinfectants.

  • Clothes and other linen used by the person separately, with common household detergent.