COVID-19 testing at home
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COVID-19 testing at home
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Take precautions and do not ignore the symptoms
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5865 cases in India 12hr 43min ago

Watch out for these symptoms

Sore throat
Sore throat
Breathing difficulty
Breathing difficulty
Stay Home, Stay Safe
Stay at home and take rest if you have any of the above symptoms. Avoid leaving the house unless it's an emergency and take necessary precautions while doing so. Maintain a safe distance from others at all times, wear a face mask, and continue to follow hand and face hygiene practices.
If you are facing any of the above symptoms, do not self medicate. Consult a healthcare provider and follow their instructions.
As per the current testing guidelines, COVID-19 testing should be done only on the recommendation of a doctor. If required to be tested, you may choose to get a sample collection done from your home with NABL accredited private testing centres.
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Dr C M A Belliappa has been practising medicine for 29 years and is currently leading the preparations at Practo's doctor team to handle COVID-19 patients.

All Testing Sites for COVID-19 Across India
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) revised the strategy of COVID-19 testing in India on March 20, 2020. The new strategy focuses on testing only those who show symptoms and aims to stop indiscriminate testing.
The Govt. strongly recommends all citizens to consult their General Physician before rushing to any clinic/hospital. Testing for COVID-19 can be done only on the recommendation of a qualified physician. A number of government designated and private NABL accredited labs are functioning across the country for COVID-19 testing.
Find the list of labs here:

All Testing Sites for COVID-19 Across India

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) revised the strategy of COVID-19 testing in India on March 20, 2020. The new strategy focuses on testing only those who show symptoms and aims to stop indiscriminate testing.
The Govt. strongly recommends all citizens to consult their General Physician before rushing to any clinic/hospital. Testing for COVID-19 can be done only on the recommendation of a qualified physician. A number of government designated and private NABL accredited labs are functioning across the country for COVID-19 testing.
Looking after yourself at home
Majority of the people infected with the new Coronavirus will show mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. If you are detected with COVID-19 and your doctor advises you to self-isolote and rest at home, here’s a list of 8 things you need to keep in mind to treat the infection at home:
Sanitize & disinfect your bed sheets and towels. Wash your clothes in hot water and iron them to disinfect it
Continue your regular cough medicine for relief. Throat lozenges and drinking honey & lemon water will help soothe a sore throat
Use a humidifier in your room. Just turn the shower on hot & sit in the bathroom to breathe in steam
If your symptoms become severe or you are having breathing difficulties or a high fever, immediately check with your doctor and check if you have to be hospitalized.

How to prepare for home quarantine during COVID-19 lockdown

With the 21-day lockdown in India, the need of the hour for all Indians is to stay indoors and strictly observe social distancing through home quarantine to combat the spread of COVID-19. In simple words, home quarantine is a precautionary measure undertaken to control and prevent the spreading of the disease to newer areas and cities.
Even while at home, it is important to follow these precautions to reduce the risk of catching an infection:
  1. Practice social distancing (stay at least 6 feet away from family members)
  2. Ensure the house is well-ventilated and well-lit
  3. Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces like doors and windows
  4. Eat well-cooked and nutritious meals. Load up on immunity-boosting foods like nuts, lemons, oranges and yogurt.
During this lockdown, most citizens are expected to be at home. This sudden change in one’s daily routine can result in varying moods and emotions. Plan your days and include fun and creative activities to combat boredom and fatigue.

Travel Advisory related to COVID-19

With the 21-day lockdown (effective from March 25, 2020) announced in India, all domestic and international flights have been suspended for the next three weeks. This is a restrictive temporary measure taken to combat the spread of COVID-19 in India, in addition to previously announced travel restrictions in early March 2020. All tourist visas and e-visas will continue to remain suspended until further notice by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
However, shipping services and transportation of vital goods and essential commodities will be operational to make sure that groceries and daily necessities are available to all citizens. Precautionary measures are being taken to ensure the safety of all staff and personnel working to deliver essential services and commodities.
Must-Knows of COVID-19
10 things you must know
The mortality rate for Coronavirus is significantly less, ranging between 2%-3% currently.
Persons infected with Coronavirus can recover from the disease completely, despite no current specific treatment or vaccine found for COVID-19.
People of all ages can be infected by the new Coronavirus. However, older people and people with conditions like heart diseases, asthma are more vulnerable to the virus.
How to keep your family safe?
General preventive measures for all
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use a 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you do not have access to soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a bent elbow or use a tissue while coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue in a dustbin immediately after use.
  • Maintain a minimum of 1 meter (3 feet) distance from people who are sick or down with a cold/ cough/ fever.
  • Eat only well-cooked food. Include sources of Vitamin C in your daily diet for stronger immunity.
  • Wear a face mask whenever you are stepping out. You can use a simple surgical mask (which can be used for 6-7 hours). Healthcare providers and infected patients must only use a N95 respiratory mask.
  • Make sure to have your face mask on while entering/ visiting a doctor’s clinic to avoid catching an infection.

Common Coronavirus myths debunked


COVID-19 virus cannot be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climate


Irrespective of the climatic conditions, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted to ALL AREAS, including hot and humid climate.


Spraying alcohol or chlorine over my body will kill novel Coronavirus


Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill the novel Coronavirus that have already entered your body.


Ultraviolet disinfection lamp can kill the new Coronavirus


UV lamps cannot kill the new Coronavirus. They should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation is very harmful for the skin.


Antibiotics are effective in preventing and treating the new Coronavirus


Antibiotics do not work against viruses. The new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), is a virus and thus antibiotics should not be used to prevent or treat this.

Be wary of other such myths

Why is COVID-19 causing so much panic?

With new cases of Coronavirus coming to light every day, the panic has hit an all-time high. Reasons as to why this virus has caused so much panic:
  1. It’s a novel virus, which is highly contagious.
  2. Research suggests that every infected person with COVID-19 could infect between two and four people. The Reproduction Number (R0) for swine flu was just between 1.3 and 1.6.
  3. It can spread easily from person to person during the course of day-to-day activities, and through objects of daily use.
  4. 1 in 10 people with Coronavirus got infected by an asymptomatic (a person showing no symptoms) patient.
  5. Out of all who contract the infection, 2-3% are unlikely to survive the infection, with people above 60 years of age at higher risk. In comparison, the mortality rate for swine flu was 0.02%.
  6. The virus is currently spreading rapidly. Confirmed cases in Italy shot up considerably from 100 in end February 2020 to 24,700 plus cases in the beginning of March 2020.
Be concerned, but DO NOT PANIC!
  1. Out of the 219,000+ total reported cases, more than 85,700 (around 40%) have recovered.
  2. The virus is supposedly heavier than the common ones and cannot travel more than 3-6 feet.
  3. 80% of Coronavirus cases showed mild symptoms and are said to have recovered completely.
  4. Coronavirus is not as deadly as SARS (Mortality rate: 9.6%) or MERS (Mortality rate: 35%), it is just more infectious. SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome) were two huge Coronavirus outbreaks in 2003 & 2012 respectively which were deadlier than COVID-19.
  5. Necessary precautions like disinfecting the surfaces around you, cleaning your hands with soaps and sanitisers, wearing masks and avoiding travel can help keep viruses at bay.

Read more from health experts on Coronavirus

View All Articles

Frequently asked questions

Q1. What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a crown-shaped virus that can be transmitted between both animals and humans. It belongs to a large family of viruses that can cause problems ranging from the common cold to severe respiratory diseases.
Q2. What are COVID-19 and 2019-nCoV?
The WHO officially named the Coronavirus outbreak as Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on February 11, 2020, as per previously developed guidelines to name viruses and their diseases. The new Coronavirus that was discovered in December 2019 is coined as 2019-nCoV by WHO. It is a virus strain that originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019 that spreads primarily from respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Q3. Can anyone get a test done for checking for COVID-19?
Coronavirus testing should be done only when advised by a doctor. It is recommended for those individuals who have travelled to and returned back from an affected city or country. It is also advised for people who have come in contact with a suspect or an infected person with COVID-19, or with a healthcare worker in a hospital or lab with suspected patients.
Q4. Can Coronavirus testing be done in a lab near me?
Coronavirus tests can be done only in specialised labs that are certified to do them. If you approach your nearest lab for COVID-19 testing, they will direct you to designated labs for Coronavirus testing in your city/ state.
Q5. What is social distancing? What are some examples of social distancing?
Social distancing is consciously increasing physical distance from other people during an interaction to reduce the spread of contagious diseases. It is a non-pharmaceutical prevention measure to slow down the rate and extent of disease transmission in a community. Cancellation of large public gatherings and meetings and closure of malls, schools, gyms, museums and other public places are examples of social distancing.
Q6. What does home quarantine mean? Who should practice it and for how long?
When a person who is asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) or unwell or exhibiting symptoms of Coronavirus decides to separate himself/herself from exposure to other infected people, it is known as quarantine. Such individuals restrict their movements outside their closed quarters, typically for about 14 days. Home quarantine is a measure that is applicable to all individuals who have come in contact with a suspected or confirmed case of the new Coronavirus.
Read more about guidelines for home quarantine here.
Q7. Can cold weather and snow kill the new Coronavirus?
No. Cold weather and snow cannot kill the new Coronavirus. The normal human body temperature will remain around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather. The most effective way to protect yourself against the new Coronavirus is by frequently washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Q8. Are thermal scanners effective in detecting people infected with COVID-19?
Thermal scanners can detect people who have developed a fever because of infection with the new Coronavirus. However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not showing any symptoms of a fever. This is because it takes between 2 and 14 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.
Q9. Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new Coronavirus?
Till date, there are no specific medicines or treatments to prevent or treat COVID-19. WHO is helping to accelerate research and development efforts for new medicines and vaccines for the novel Coronavirus.
Q10. Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with the new Coronavirus?
Currently, there is no proven evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline solution will prevent people from catching the Coronavirus infection. However, rinsing the nose with saline solution can help individuals recover quickly from the common cold.
Q11. Will I die if I catch Coronavirus?
The mortality rate of Coronavirus is significantly less, i.e. 2-3%. Almost 80% of the people recover from the symptoms in 2 weeks. The symptoms can be treated with timely medical care. Only older people (above the age of 60) are at a higher risk of death.
Q12. Can the COVID-19 virus be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates?
Irrespective of the climatic conditions, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted to ALL AREAS, including hot and humid climates.
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