With SOS messages flooding social media networks seeking assistance for hospital beds and oxygen for Covid patients in the wake of the unprecedented surge of infections during its ongoing second wave, it is important to realise that not all patients require hospitalisation.
TNIE spoke to Dr Jacob John, retired professor of virology at CMC, Vellore and Dr Giridhara R Babu, senior epidemiologist and professor at the Indian Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru, to guide you on safely managing the symptoms so as to stay safe.
Q: Based on what parameters should patients decide whether to stay home in isolation?
Dr John: The parameters have not changed much from the previous wave. If you are infected and you have a sore throat, fever, runny nose, headache, loss of smell, it is likely you have Covid-19. Get tested and stay home if you’re positive.
Dr Babu: The person should first be clinically fit and asymptomatic or a mild case with symptoms like mild fever below 100.4 degree F and oxygen saturation above 95%. Senior citizens with comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, chronic lung, liver, kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, etc., after proper clinical evaluation. He/she should have a separate room, preferably a separate toilet,
too, at their residence for self-isolating and also for quarantining the family contacts. A care giver should be available 24X7.
Q: If at home, what are the medicines and other protocols to be followed?
Dr John: Have telephonic contact with the doctor. Touch base with the physician every half day if possible. Have a lot of fluids and rest. A strategy that works for many people is buying a pulse oximeter. As long as the saturation stays above 95, there is not much to worry about.
Dr Babu: The suggested medication is Tablet Ivermectin 12mg for 3 days or Tablet Favipiravir 1800 mg (200 mg × 9) on Day 1.