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So you’ve tested COVID Positive, What Next? Here’s what top docs have to say

Top doctors of the National Tuberculosis Institute (NTI), Bangalore and Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), Goa, participated in a webinar on Thursday organised by the Press Information Bureau to provide a better insight into Covid-19 and how to deal with the deadly infection if in the unfortunate event a person were to get infected by the deadly coronavirus.

Expert panel of doctors includes Dr. Somashekhara, Director, NTI, Dr. Vineet Kumar Chadha, Advisor, NTI, Dr. C. Ravichandra, CMO-NFSG, Head of Training Division, NTI, Dr. Mamatha H.G, Consultant Microbiologist, NTI, Prof. Raghurama, BITS, Goa.

The Q&A session  :

1. RT-PCR tests may not yield Positive result in all positive cases, since its sensitivity is 60% – 70%. In such cases, CT-scan which has higher sensitivity may be required. But patients should not request for it. It should be strictly doctor's decision – Dr. Ravichandra, NTI

2. For those who don't have pulse Oximeter at home:

Keep your palm on your chest, measure your respiratory rate for one minute:

If it is less than 24, it is fine

If more than 24, it is moderate

If more than 30, it may be a severe disease

3. High risk patients with pre-existing conditions like heart disease, hypertension, who have only mild COVID-19 disease and are in home isolation, can continue to take existing medications upon consultation with a doctor

4. Don't take antibiotics on your own unnecessarily. Take only if prescribed by a doctor, after clinical examination and assessment of risks. Antibiotics are usually prescribed to take care of secondary infections, as a prophylactic, but not for treatment for COVID-19

5.  If cough still persists, weight loss is there, even after recovering from COVID-19, it could be a case of Tuberculosis (TB). So, consult a doctor for early diagnosis and necessary action

6. Take care of your mental health too, especially after getting infected with COVID-19. Reduce screen time, take rest, get good sleep, relax.

7. COVID -19 patient becomes non-infectious mostly 10 days after symptom onset. Hence, Negative RT-PCR test after home isolation is not required if patient is not having symptoms and no fever for last few days

8. There is a risk of catching COVID infection even in open air even if we are wearing a mask, but someone near us is not. That is why everyone needs to observe COVID-19 appropriate behaviours. Only then we can get over this Pandemic

9. Steroids are NOT advised in the initial phase of COVID-19 infection. It is advised only if COVID patient is slipping into moderate/severe cases, where there is indication of worsening of inflammatory conditions; Dexamethasone and Methylprednisolone have saved and save many lives, when patients are already on Oxygen support; strictly not advisable to use steroids in initial phase of COVID-19 infection

10. When blood clot happens, it will present as a very dramatic, serious condition, requiring urgent attention. So, clotting will not be diagnosed unless D-dimer levels rise significantly or some very dramatic condition presents itself.