Quarantine if symptoms appear, advises govt amid report delays

Cautions diabetic Covid patients against dangerous black fungal infection

Quarantine if symptoms appear, advises govt amid report delays

A health worker with food trays for Covid patients in New Delhi. Tribune Photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7

The government on Friday asked people to immediately start home isolation and treatment if they experienced any or all of the symptoms, including fever, sore throat, cough, head or body aches, breathing difficulty and loss of smell or taste.

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“Assume you are Covid positive if you have any of these symptoms. Don’t wait for your test results and isolate yourself,” VK Paul, Member, Health, NITI Aayog, and government’s key adviser on Covid clinical management said as testing capacities came under strain in the wake of rapid surge in daily cases.

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The government, in a detailed advisory, asked home-isolated people experiencing Covid-like symptoms to start on hydration, lie in a prone position to improve oxygen levels, take paracetamol for fever, any cough syrup for cough and multivitamins. Home-isolated people have also been advised to wear surgical N95 masks. Paul said people must seek immediate medical help if they felt breathless, dizzy or if their oxygen saturation fell below 94. “These are danger signs,” he said.

In the section “what not to do during home isolation”, the advisory asked people not to use remdesivir, nebulisers for administering medicines (can lead to viral transmission) or oxygen at home without medical review.

“If cough persists for five days, you can use budesonide inhaler on doctor’s advice and similarly you can use medicines ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine if the doctor advises,” said Paul.

After some hospitals flagged it, Paul said mucormycosis, a kind of dangerous fungal infection, was being seen in some diabetic patients down or recovered from Covid.

“We have not seen a major outbreak, but we have seen it in diabetics who are already on immunosuppressant drugs. When such people get Covid and need to take more immune-suppressant medication to fight the infection, chances of the fungus rise.

“So if diabetics with Covid have ulcers, they must report immediately. The use of steroids and tocilizumab in such patients must be very rational because these drugs further suppress immunity,” said Paul, adding treatments for mucormycosis were available.

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