Coronavirus FAQs

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Data FROM Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.

In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

  • COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
  • "CO" stands for "Corona" (virus has crown-like spikes protruding from its surface), VI stands for "Virus", D for "Disease" and 19 for the year it was discovered

What is convalescent plasma and why is it being investigated to treat COVID-19?

  • Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood that is collected from patients recovered from COVID-19 disease. These recovered patients develop antibodies in the blood that help fight the virus. Convalescent plasma is being investigated for treatment as there is some information that suggests it might help some patients recover from COVID-19.

Does COVID-19 pose a risk to the safety of a country's blood supply?

  • Respiratory viruses do no get transmitted through blood. No case has been reported of transfusion of coronavirus through blood.

Is it safe to donate blood during coronavirus pandemic?

YES

  • If you are a healthy person and interested in donating blood then you can certainly do so.

Can COVID-19 be transmitted through human cells, tissues or cellular & tissue based products (HCT/ Ps)?

  • Respiratory viruses in general, are not transmitted by implantations, transplantation, infusion or transfer of human cells, tissues or cellular & tissue based products (HCT/Ps). The potential of transmission of COVID-19 through HCT/Ps is still unknown.

How are people tested for COVID-19?

  • To be tested for COVID-19, a sample is collected from person's nose or back of throat with a special swab.

Will I die if I catch the disease?

Very Unlikely

What's the Mortality Rate?

Older people are at far greater risk.

  • Data from the U.S indicates that fatality was highest in persons aged ≥85, ranging from 10% to 27%, followed by 3% to 11% among persons aged 65–84 years, 1% to 3% among persons aged 55-64 years, <1% among persons aged 20–54 years, and no fatalities among persons aged ≤19 years.
  • In China, approximately 80% of deaths occurred among adults aged ≥60 years, and only one (0.1%) death occurred in a person aged ≤19 years.

Why is there so much panic?

THE W.H.O. HAS DECLARED COVID-19 A PANDEMIC, MEANING THAT THE EFFORTS TO CONTROL IT HAVE FAILED.

  • This describes the spread of the virus, not how deadly it may be. The disease is spreading faster than most diseases known to mankind.
  • Without a strong global effort to contain and mitigate the disease, it could lead to unbearable pressure on our healthcare systems, and eventually millions of deaths.

THIS IS WHY PEOPLE ARE PANICKING.

Should I panic?

No

  • Panic is not helpful. Do your bit to help contain the virus. Practice social distancing, stay at home as much as possible. Maintain personal hygiene and learn to wash your hands the right way.

So, how exactly does the coronavirus spread?

A HEALTHY PERSON CAN GET INFECTED FROM A SICK PERSON.

  • After contact with a sick person, when a healthy person touches their eyes, nose or mouth, the infection can transfer to the healthy person.
  • Similarly, when one comes in contact with contaminated surfaces, objects or items of personal use.

Can the novel coronavirus be passed on through food?

No, there is no such evidence as of now.

Can COVID-19 virus spread through drinking water?

No, there is no such evidence as of now.

  • The COVID-19 has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filteration and disinfectant should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.

Can eating chicken or eggs cause coronavirus?

No, there is no such evidence as of now.

Do I have coronavirus if I am coughing or sneezing?

YOU MAY HAVE CORONAVIRUS IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS: FEVER, DRY COUGH, SHORTNESS OF BREATH.

  • In addition, you may be at higher risk if you:
  • Have travel history to a coronavirus-affected area (like China, Iran, Italy, Republic of Korea, etc.)
  • Have had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Work in healthcare facility/ labs where coronavirus patients are being taken care of

Track what your symptoms are

CORONAVIRUS HAS SYMPTOMS LIKE FEVER, DRY COUGH, SHORTNESS OF BREATH. THESE ARE SIMILAR TO COMMON COLD OR FLU AND MAY APPEAR WITHIN 2-14 DAYS OF EXPOSURE. DEGREE OF ILLNESS CAN VARY FROM MILD TO SEVERE SYMPTOMS.

IF YOU HAVE A FEVER, COLD, OR SORE THROAT, DON’T PANIC. TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF AND CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR.

Can coronavirus be treated?

Yes. In fact, According to the W.h.o about out 80% of people have recovered from the disease without needing special treatment.

Can a person test negative and later test positive for COVID-19?

  • In certain cases after getting tested from a recognised lab, the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the person's sample. In the early stages of infection it is possible that the virus will not be detected.

Is there a vaccine, drug or treatment for COVID-19?

Not yet.

  • According to the WHO, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials that include both western and traditional medicines.

Can eating garlic prevent infection with the coronavirus?

No

  • According to the WHO, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.

Will warm weather stop the outbreak of COVID-19?

No

  • As per the WHO, from the evidence so far, the Covid-19 virus can be transmitted in all areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, you should adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting Covid-19.

Should I wear a mask?

YES, but try to use a non-medical mask.

  • There is a shortage of medical masks worldwide, and the healthcare workers on the frontline of the pandemic need the masks more than others.
  • A number of countries now recommend using non-medical masks, including home-made masks. The U.S. CDC has issued guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19, including a tutorial on how to create such masks.
  • Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

Should the coronavirus outbreak concern you about your pets or other animals?

No

  • The WHO stated that although there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19.

Can Mosquitoes spread COVID-19?

No

  • The WHO has stated clearly the new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites.

What is “Social Distancing”?

SOCIAL DISTANCING SIMPLY MEANS REDUCING CONTACT WITH OTHER PEOPLE AND MAINTAINING A PHYSICAL DISTANCE BETWEEN YOURSELF AND OTHERS.

AS OF NOW, 1 METRE IS CONSIDERED SAFE. THAT'S ABOUT AN ARM'S LENGTH. NOTABLY, THE INFECTED DROPLETS CAN TRAVEL UP TO AROUND 1 METRE IN THE AIR AND QUICKLY SETTLE ON THE SURFACES.

THE MEASURES ARE AIMED AT TRYING TO CUT DOWN THE AMOUNT OF VIRUS SPREADING AROUND, AND ULTIMATELY PROTECT THOSE MOST VULNERABLE, INCLUDING THE ELDERLY AND PEOPLE WITH WEAKENED IMMUNE SYSTEMS.

Protect yourselves:

  • Wash your hands regularly with plenty of soap and water.
  • Keep an alcohol-based sanitizer ready for times when soap and water are not available.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, mouth or nose with unclean hands.
  • Keep your distance of at least 1 meter from anyone coughing or sneezing.
  • Follow no-touch greeting to keep yourself safe. Prefer namaste or hand waving over handshake.

Protect your loved ones:

  • Don’t sneeze or cough into your hands. Use a tissue and throw it away immediately, or sneeze in the inner side of your elbow.
  • Don’t travel or visit crowded places if you’re sick.
  • Wear a mask if you’re sick and also if you are taking care of someone with the symptoms.

Protect your community:

  • If you feel unwell, seek medical attention.
  • If you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, stay indoors. Call healthcare professionals and follow their advice.
  • Do not share ‘just any forwarded message’. Only share authentic information coming through medical experts.

4 Stages of Pandemic Spread

Stage 1

Imported cases only (from affected countries)

Stage 2

Local transmission (close contact of an infected person, like family and friends)

Stage 3

Community spread (some of the infected people in an area might not know how or where they got infected)

Stage 4

Spread through several communities (epidemic), with no clear endpoint

Understanding “Flattening the curve”

It means to keep the daily number of disease cases on the lower side.

Flattening the curve refers to community isolation measures that keep the daily number of disease cases at a manageable level for medical providers. (Image: © CDC)
  • Social distancing may or may not be able to reduce the spread of coronavirus, but it ensures that the number of infected people at any one time is limited.
  • A high curve indicates a quick spread of coronavirus, limited medical care and healthcare support, and a likely increase in the number of deaths.
  • A low curve means slow spread of coronavirus, which gives doctors the time and facilities to treat more people (and save more lives).

Action Points

Avoid

  • Gyms
  • Museums
  • Swimming Pools
  • Theaters
  • Educational Institutes
  • Cultural & Social Events
  • Sports Events
  • Sleep Overs
  • Weddings
  • Non Essential Meetings
  • In-person meetings with unknown people

Follow Caution

  • Visit a local restaurant, especially indoors
  • Grocery shopping at a crowded market
  • Shopping malls at peak hours
  • Markets in general, like anaj mandi, sabji mandi, etc.
  • Bus depots
  • Railway stations
  • Airports
  • Post-offices
  • Hospitals and lab facilities

Good-to-do

  • Eat healthy
  • Practice stretching, yoga, and meditation at home
  • Sleep well
  • Don’t panic, just be watchful
  • 1-to-1 check-in with friends, while avoiding close contact
  • Group video chats with friends
  • Staying connected through social media & calls
  • Read a book
  • Enroll in online learning programs

Tips for social distancing at home

  • Avoid visitors at home as much as possible.
  • Visit shops sparingly and buy more goods and services online. Do not panic buy.
  • Stock up medicines for chronic conditions in advance for at least 1 month.
  • Avoid outings and travel, for yourself and family.
  • Keep children at home, avoid co-curricular classes like dance, swimming, etc. as well as home tuitions in large groups.
  • Use tissues while using lift buttons and throw them in closed bins immediately after use.
  • Avoid visiting hospitals, dental clinics, and labs, unless absolutely necessary.

Tips for social distancing in the workplace

  • Stay at home if you are sick.
  • Opt for working from home over going to office.
  • Prefer namaste or hand-waving over handshaking.
  • Hold meetings via video conferencing or phone call; defer large meetings.
  • If possible, hold essential meetings outside, in open air.
  • Avoid lunch rooms and eat your lunch at your desk or outside.
  • Limit food handling and sharing of food in the workplace.

Tips for social distancing in the public

If you are sick, stay away from others– that is the most important thing you can do.

  • In case you need to travel, avoid rush hours and large crowds.
  • If you are using a cab or taxi service, ask the driver to roll down the windows, wherever possible.
  • While eating out in restaurants, ensure a physical distance (minimum 1 metre) between tables.
  • Keep already planned weddings to a limited gathering, postpone all non-essential social and cultural gatherings.

Additional instructions where people are sick

  • Care for the sick person at home in a single room with an attached washroom, if possible.
  • Keep the number of carers to a minimum.
  • Keep the door to the sick person’s room closed and, if possible, a window open.
  • Both, the sick person and the people caring for them, should wear a surgical mask when they are in the same room.
  • Maintain distance from other vulnerable family members, such as the elderly (over 60 years of age) or people with chronic illnesses.

When can someone who has had COVID-19 be released from isolation?

As per the US CDC This decision is taken on case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements.

  • The patient is free from fever without the use of fever reducing medications.
  • The patient is no longer showing symptoms including cough.
  • The patient has tested negative on atleast two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.
  • Someone who is released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.

Is the COVID-19 virus found in feces?

As per the US CDC The virus that causes COVID-19 has been found in feces of some patients infected with COVID-19. The amount of time for which virus is released out from body through stool and whether the virus in stool is infectious is still unknown.

Am I at risk of catching infection if I go to a funeral or visitation service for someone who died of COVID-19?

No

Travel Advisory issued by Govt. of India

  • All the existing visas have been suspended (except diplomatic, official, UN/ international organisations, employment, project visas) until further notice.
  • Visa free travel facility granted to OCI card holders is kept under suspension until further notice. However, OCI card holders already in India can stay in India as long as they want.
  • Visas of all foreign nationals already in India remain valid and they can contact the nearest FRRO/FRO for extension/conversion of their visa.
  • No scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall take off from any foreign airport for any airport in India after March 22,2020 till March 29,2020.
  • A max travel time of 20 hours is permissible for such commercial aircraft to land in India.
  • No such incoming scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall be allowed to disembark its passengers on Indian soil (foreign or Indian) after March 22,2020.
  • Link to Advisory Document issued by GOI

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Helpline Numbers

National Helpline Number: 1075 & 1800-112-545

Central Helpline Number: +91-11-23978043+91-11-23978046

Central Helpline Email: ncov2019@gmail.com

State & UT Helpline Numbers: Link

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Website: mohfw.gov.in

Covid-19 Testing Labs Across India: Link