Taking immunity-promoting AYUSH medicine, incorporating yoga, pranayama and walks in daily route, and being watchful of early warning signs of COVID onset like high-grade fever, breathlessness and unexplained chest pain are some of the post-COVID follow-up protocol that the Centre has recommended for patients recovering from the disease.
In a new set of guidelines issued on Sunday (September 13), the health ministry has laid out an “integrated holistic approach” for individuals recovering from the disease, to avoid a relapse of COVID.
Stressing that the recovery could be a long-drawn process for patients who suffered a severe form of the disease and those with co-morbidities, the ministry said, the guidelines shouldn’t be confused with preventive/curative therapy, but is rather a holistic approach to manage patients who have recovered enough from COVID for care at home.
“After acute COVID-19 illness, recovered patients may continue to report wide variety of signs and symptoms including fatigue, body ache, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing, etc. As of now there is limited evidence of post-COVID sequalae and further research is required and is being actively pursued. A holistic approach is required for follow up care and well-being of all post-COVID recovering patients,” the document released by the ministry said.
The guidelines suggested individuals continue COVID appropriate behaviour including the use of mask, hand and respiratory hygiene and physical distancing.
The guidelines also recommended the use of AYUSH medicine, to boost immunity, but under the prescription of a qualified practitioner.
“Look for early warning signs like high grade fever, breathlessness, Sp02< 95%, unexplained chest pain, new onset of confusion, focal weakness,” it said.
Laying special emphasis on mental health, the ministry urged individuals to take help of community-based self-help groups and qualified professionals for recovery and rehabilitation and seek psycho-social support from peers, community health workers, counsellors and mental health support service, if required.
It also urged recovered individuals to share their positive experiences with friends and relatives through social media as well as with community leaders, opinion leaders and religious leaders to create more awareness and dispel myths and stigma.
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“Participate in group sessions of Yoga, Meditation etc. while taking all due precautions like physical distancing,” it said.
The guidelines mandated the first follow-up visit to be scheduled within seven days of discharge and recommended both allopathic and AYUSH for follow up treatment, while advising against poly-therapy.