NEW DELHI: Patients who recover from Covid-19 may continue to report a wide variety of signs and symptoms, including fatigue, body ache, cough, sore throat and difficulty in breathing, according to a fresh protocol issued by the Union health ministry on Sunday for management of such patients.
The recovery period is likely to be longer for patients who suffer from a more severe form of the disease and those with pre-existing illnesses, the protocol says.
Patients are advised to constantly monitor their health and look for early warning signs, such as drop in oxygen level or unexplained chest pain. It also recommends physical exercise and immunity boosting medicines after recovery.
The new protocol states that recovered patients should continue to practise “Covid-appropriate behaviour” at the individual level that includes wearing a mask, hand hygiene and following social distancing norms. There is a wide variation in recovery and in some cases, patients have taken several weeks to fully recoup. Doctors are also watching out for long-term effects.
“Adequate amount of warm water”, if not indicated otherwise by doctor, and immunity boosting Ayush medicines, only on the advice of a qualified practitioner, have been suggested too.
Besides, the guidelines also recommend one spoon of chawanprash in the morning with water or milk.
The ministry said regular household work can be done “if health permits”, while professional work can be resumed “in graded manner”.
Medicines to alleviate Covid-19 symptoms should also be continued, along with those for co-morbidities, if any. Patients have been asked to monitor their oxygen levels, temperature, blood pressure and, in case of diabetic patients, blood sugar too.
For persistent cough, the guidelines recommend gargling with saline water and steam inhalation using herbs. Patients have been asked to look for signs of high grade fever, breathlessness and weakness.
The government also suggested consultation with a doctor, either though a physical visit or online, within seven days of discharge from a hospital.
Subsequent follow-up treatment can be done by any physician or Ayush practitioner, it said.