Bhubaneswar: India has sadly become one of the nations that has been worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. As of Sunday morning, it is currently in the second place in terms of cases at 4,659,984, while the country’s death toll stood at 77,472.
In this scenario, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare released a set of guidelines or protocol for those who have recovered from COVID-19.
The press release points out that even after recovery, people continued to report a wide variety of signs and symptoms including fatigue, body ache, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing, etc. As of now, there is limited evidence of post-COVID sequelae and further research is required and is being actively pursued.
Post-COVID Follow Up Protocol
At individual level
- Continue COVID appropriate behaviour (use of mask, hand & respiratory hygiene, physical distancing).
- Drink an adequate amount of warm water (if not contra-indicated).
- Take immunity promoting AYUSH medicine
- If health permits, regular household work to be done. Professional work to be resumed in a graded manner.
- Mild/ moderate exercise
- Daily practice of Yogasana, Pranayama and Meditation, as much as health permits or as prescribed.
- Breathing exercises as prescribed by treating physician.
- Daily morning or evening walk at a comfortable pace as tolerated.
- A balanced nutritious diet, preferably easy to digest freshly cooked soft diet.
- Have adequate sleep and rest.
- Avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol.
- Take regular medications as advised for COVID and also for managing comorbidities, if any. Doctor to be always informed about all medicines that the individual is taking (allopathic/AYUSH) so as to avoid prescription interaction.
- Self-health monitoring at home – temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar (especially, if diabetic), pulse oximetry etc. (if medically advised)
- If there is persistent dry cough / sore throat, do saline gargles and take steam inhalation. The addition of herbs/spices for gargling/steam inhalation. Cough medications should be taken on the advice of a medical doctor or qualified practitioner of Ayush.
- Look for early warning signs like high-grade fever, breathlessness, Sp02 <95%, unexplained chest, new onset of confusion, focal weakness.
At the level of community
- Recovered individuals to share their positive experiences with their friends and relatives using social media, community leaders, opinion leaders, religious leaders for creating awareness, dispelling myths and stigma.
- Take the support of community-based self-help groups, civil society organizations, and qualified professionals for the recovery and rehabilitation process (medical, social, occupational, livelihood).
- Seek psycho-social support from peers, community health workers, counsellor. If required seek mental health support service.
- Participate in group sessions of Yoga, Meditation etc. while taking all due precautions like physical distancing.
In healthcare facility setting
- The first follow-up visit (physical/telephonic) should be within 7 days after discharge, preferably at the hospital where he/she underwent treatment.
- Subsequent treatment/follow up visits may be with the nearest qualified allopathic/AYUSH practitioner/medical facility of other systems of medicine. Poly-therapy is to be avoided due to potential for an unknown drug-drug interaction, which may lead to Serious Adverse Events (SAE) or Adverse Effects (AE).
- The patients who had undergone home isolation, if they complain of persisting symptoms, will visit the nearest health facility.
- Severe cases requiring critical care support will require more stringent follow-up.
Apart from these, the ministry also suggested a few immunity boosting AYUSH medicines. Here are they:
- Ayush Kwath (150 ml; 1 cup) daily, Samshamani vati twice a day 500 mg (1 gm per day) or Giloy powder 1 -3 grams with lukewarm water for 15 days, Ashwagandha 500 mg twice a day (1 gm per day) or Ashwagandha powder 1-3 grams twice daily for 15 days and Amla fruit one daily/Amla powder 1-3 grams once daily.
- Mulethi powder (in case of dry cough) 1- 3 gram with lukewarm water twice daily
- Warm Milk with ½ teaspoonful Haldi in (morning/evening)
- Gargling with turmeric and salt
- Chyawanprash 1 teaspoonful (5 mg) once daily in the morning (as per directions from Vaidya)