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As cases continue to multiply at an alarming rate in Karnataka and its capital Bengaluru, which were once hailed for effectively fighting the pandemic under the leadership of CM BS Yediyurappa, people are struck with fear as news of their loved and dear ones contracting the virus are starting to emerge. What used to be a growing tally in news channels is suddenly turning into a reality as many people are starting to show symptoms of COVID-19 and even testing positive for the virus. Even though there are several guides on what to do next if one starts showing symptoms of coronavirus, it's easy to be panicked if the situation befalls upon oneself.

The COVID-19 situation is getting worse and even Karnataka CM BSY has admitted that coronavirus is going out of control in some districts. Being dependent on the government entirely to get rid of COVID-19 is foolish and each and every individual must take responsible steps to curb the spread of the virus. However, if you have already developed symptoms of COVID-19 or tested positive for the virus, here's a guide for people living in Bengaluru.

Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa
Karnataka chief minister BS YediyurappaTwitter

COVID-19 symptoms

Here are the common early symptoms of coronavirus:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Headaches
  • Body Aches
  • Sudden loss of smell and taste, commonly reported by new COVID patients

In the case of asymptomatic patients, these might not be experienced.

What to do if you've COVID-19 symptoms?

Firstly, do not panic. Then make sure you isolate yourself from the rest of the house to avoid passing on the infection to other family members, especially in case there are kids and elderly in the house.

Then, consult a doctor, preferably through video or teleconferencing. Follow the doctor's advice to whether or not to get tested. But at all times, remain in isolation.

cover your cough
cover your cough. representative image.

If the doctor advises you to get tested, go to the nearest clinic, hospital, or testing center. In Bengaluru, there are 113 fever clinics, 66 of which are private and 47 are government-run. Once the samples are collected, the testing will be done at one of the 25 ICMR-approved labs. It may take days before you get the test results and usually, it will be the BBMP officials who will get the results and share them with you. Until the test results arrive, follow strict isolation norms and doctor's instructions.

If the test results come back negative, follow the doctor's medication. However, if the results are positive, there are different sets of rules as detailed below.

What to do if you test positive for COVID-19?

Again, do not panic. Follow these guidelines if your COVID-19 test results came back positive and co-operate with BBMP officials. You can alternatively inform your District Surveillance Officer (DSO)/BBMP local ward officials by calling 14410/ 104/ 080-1077/ 080-22967200.

Depending on your symptoms, you will be advised for home isolation (subject to eligibility) or moved to a facility. In case of home isolation, here are the things you'll need.

COVID-19 test results with spare copies, home isolation declaration print-outs, essential contact numbers of family members and doctors, hospital, ambulance, medical oxygen cylinder supplier, local plasma bank number, testing labs, and people who recovered from COVID-19.

Here's a list of equipment you'll need whether or not you are going into isolation:

  • Oximeter
  • PPE (face mask, gloves)
  • Thermometers
  • Regular medicines
  • Toiletry and sanitation kit
  • Separate dining set
  • Steamer
  • Nebuliser
  • Garbage bags for proper disposal of wastage
  • Hand sanitiser, disinfectant for cleaning room
  • Essentials like mobile charger, laptop, power bank, cash, credit card, etc

Always notify your health officer if the body temperature is more than 37.5 degrees Celsius and oxygen levels should not be below 95 percent on the oximeter. Other tests like BP, sugar, ECG, CBC, etc will be done by hospital staff.

Emergency cases

If your oxygen levels fall below 90 percent, call 108 for Arogya Kavacha ambulance to shift the patient to Dedicated COVID Hospitals. In case a hospital denies bed or treatment, dial 1912.

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When will you be discharged?

Patients must meet certain criteria before being discharged. Even after being discharged, patients must remain under 14 days of home quarantine and self-monitoring.

If you had severe symptoms, discharge criteria are the patient must not have ever or symptoms for 3 days, oxygen must be 95 percent for 4 days, no shortness of breath or breathlessness, complete clinical recovery, and test negative three days after recovery.

In the case of asymptomatic cases, they shouldn't have any symptoms, fever, 95% oxygen levels, a respiratory rate less than 24 per minute, and must remain asymptomatic for 10 days after the test.