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Union Health Ministry issues post COVID management protocol

As the number of coronavirus cases are on a continuous surge on a daily basis, the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued post COVID management protocols.

“A holistic approach is required for follow up care and well-being of all post COVID recovering patients,” states the ministry.

Yogasana, Pranayama, and walks are among some of the suggestions.

Details of the Protocol:

(i) At individual level

• Continue COVID appropriate behaviour (use of mask, hand & respiratory hygiene, physical distancing).

• Drink adequate amount of warm water (if not contra-indicated).

• Take immunity promoting AYUSH medicine – To be practiced and prescribed by a qualified practitioner of AYUSH.

• 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.

• 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 from a medical doctors or qualified practitioner of Ayush.

• Look for early warning signs like high-grade fever, breathlessness, Sp02 <95%, unexplained chest pain, new onset of confusion, focal weakness.

(ii) 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 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.

(iii) 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 the 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 a more stringent follow-up.

Further, the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has suggested some immunity-boosting AYUSH medicines (to be prescribed only by practitioners permitted under law for prescribing the medicine/therapy under specific stream). Among them are:

• 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)

The ministry protocol provides an integrated holistic approach for managing patients who have recovered enough from COVID for care at home.

It is not meant to be used as preventive/curative therapy. The recovery period is likely to be longer for patients who suffered from a more severe form of the disease and those with pre-existing illness, states the ministry. – Guwahati Plus

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