Global status of COVID-19 infection
Currently, there are 60,57,853 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection worldwide, with a total tally of 3,71,166 deaths and it has affected 213 countries and territories across the globe. The top three countries affected by COVID-19 infection are USA ( 18,47,729 cases), Brazi(l 5,29,405 cases) and Russia at number 3 with total 4,23,741 cases. Globally, 2, 447,039 cases have recovered or been discharged. It is important to note that out of 2,904,11 currently infected patients, 98% patients are in mild condition while rest 2% (53, 092) are in serious or critical condition.
More than 50% of the cases are now outside China where it all started, however China seems to have controlled the infection.
Current status in India
As of today, India has 1,98,706 active COVID-19 cases, 5,598 deaths, with 95,527 cured/discharged cases. 35 states have reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, with Maharashtra topping the list (67,655 confirmed cases) followed closely by Tamil Nadu (17728 cases), at the time of writing this.
Symptoms of Coronavirus infection
- Difficulty in breathing
In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia and respiratory failure sometimes leading to death
No fever, no COVID-19 infection
No breathlessness, no severity
If cough persists for more than 2 weeks, rule out TB
Only cough could be pollution related; cough and cold could be an allergy; fever with cough and cold could be a normal flu; and fever with sore throat in children could be Streptococcal infection.
Suspecting a COVID-19 case
Fever and respiratory symptoms like cough or shortness of breath AND any individual, including health care workers who may have had any close contact with a laboratory confirmed COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset.People with a travel history to any of the affected countries are suspected and required to quarantine
Epidemic cycle of the virus
First cases [cases and close contacts in household setting]
First cluster [the general population~ households, heath care professional, school]
First community spread [infection in the general population]
It is important to first contain the virus, then delay the transmission and simultaneously search for avenues to attack it and mitigate it.
What is the latest treatment update of coronavirus?
The National Taskforce for COVID-19 recommends the use of hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection for selected individuals:
All asymptomatic healthcare workers involved in containment and treatment of COVID -19 and asymptomatic healthcare workers working in non-COVID hospitals/non-COVID areas of COVID hospitals/blocks [400 mg twice a day on Day 1, followed by 400 mg once weekly for next 7 weeks; to be taken with meals]
Asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory confirmed cases [400 mg twice a day on Day 1, followed by 400 mg once weekly for next 3 weeks: to be taken with meals]
The drug is contraindicated in persons with known case of:
- Hypersensitivity to HCQ or 4-aminoquinoline compounds
- G6PD deficiency
- Pre-existing cardiomyopathy and cardiac rhythm disorders
The drug is not recommended for prophylaxis in children below 15 years of age and in pregnancy and lactation.
As per ICMR, anti-HIV drugs can be considered in COVID-19 depending on prior evidence of their efficacy against SARS and MERS coronaviruses. Anti-HIV medications, Lopinavir and Ritonavir can be utilized to treat COVID-19 patients in extreme cases. However, these can only be used in adult patients affirmed positive for COVID-19 with complications including severe respiratory pain, low circulatory strain and new beginning organ brokenness.
Based on a mathematical modelling done by ICMR, it has been suggested that entry screening of travellers with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 can delay the introduction of the virus into the community by three days to three weeks.
Strictly implemented social distancing measures such as home quarantine of symptomatic patients and suspected cases will reduce the overall expected number of cases by 62% and the peak number of cases by 89%, thus flattening the curve and providing more opportunities for interventions.
- Maintaining Hygiene
- Social distancing by staying one meter away from any person with a cough or cold
- Wash hands and memorize the mnemonic SUMAN K (SeedhaUltaMutthiAnghutaNakhunKalai). Wash with 70% alcohol sanitizer or soap and water.
- Soap and water are preferable whenever available
- Disinfect surfaces regularly
- Use surgical masks if you have any symptoms. The general public does not need mask.
- A patient with fever with dry cough should self-isolate whether he/she has breathlessness or not. Wear a mask, wash your hands regularly and consult your doctor over the phone.
- No testing is required for any infected persons relatives unless they develop symptoms.
- If you are experiencing COVID 19 symptoms:
- Consult a doctor
- Get tested for COVID 19 at home in a private lab or at a government hospital
- Quarantine yourself at a private or government facility till the result of the test
- If your sample tests positive
- If you have a very mild or pre-symptomatic case, home isolation can be concluded after 17 days of onset of symptoms and no fever for 10 days.
- There is no need for testing after the home isolation is over
- Family members should go for home quarantine
- Immediately seek medical attention if you experience difficulty in breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; mental confusion or inability to arouse; develop bluish coloration of lips or face
If your sample tests negative:
- Even if you test negative, home quarantine yourself for 14 days
- Stay at home, wear face mask and follow physical distancing
- Remember, corona is not flu. It’s a lung disease. A majority of patients have fever, 3/4ths have cough, half breathlessness with low white blood cell count and deranged liver enzymes. A runny nose only shows in 4 % of the cases.
- Follow these simple instructions to safeguard yourself
- Stay home, don’t venture out if you are not a part of emergency services
- Work from home
- Wash your hands regularly
- Avoid contact with any sick individual
- Touch your eyes, nose or mouth only after washing hands
- Cover your mouth and nose if you sneeze or cough
- Stay away from coronanxeity (anxiety of corona) as anxiety weakens the immune system