New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the reeling number of coronavirus cases in the country, the government has decided to impose a 21-day nation-wide lockdown to curb the infection from spreading. The central government has appealed the countrymen to follow the lockdown sincerely and has asked states to take strict actions against violators.

A lot of rumours about the deadly virus are also getting viral about coronavirus that are misleading the people. Amid this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed people not to believe in rumours and consult doctors about the COVID-19 virus that has affected more than 600 people in the country.

As PM Modi urged people not to believe in rumours, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) came up with some frequently asked questions (FAQs) to dispel myths and bring out facts about the deadly COVID-19 virus.

1. Are patients with heart disease, diabetes or hypertension at increased risk to get coronavirus infection?

No, people with hypertension, diabetes or heart diseases are at no greater risk of getting the infection than anyone else.

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2. Among people with above diseases is there an increased risk of severe illness or complications once infected?

The majority, which is 80 per cent of people diagnosed with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms of a respiratory infection (fever, sore throat, cough) and make a full recovery. Some of the people with diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases including heart failure may develop more severe symptoms and complications. Therefore, they require extra care.

3. Are people with diabetes more prone to COVID-19?

In general, you know that people with uncontrolled diabetes are at increased risk of all infections. People with diabetes are not at higher risk for acquiring the infection, but some individuals are prone to more severe disease and poorer outcomes once infected.

Hence, follow your diet and exercise routine (to the extent possible), take your medications regularly and test your sugar levels frequently so as to keep your diabetes under control. When diabetic patients become sick, they may require frequent monitoring of blood glucose and adjustment of drugs including insulin, small frequent meals and adequate fluids.

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4. What about reports about BP medications increasing severity of COVID-19?

After review of the available information the consensus of various scientific societies and expert group of cardiologists is that currently there is no evidence that the two group of drugs - ACE inhibitors (For instance, Ramipril, Enalapril and so on) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) (Namely, Losartan, Telmisartan and so on) increase the susceptibility or severity of COVID-19.

These drugs are very effective for heart failure by supporting your heart function, and controlling high blood pressure. It may be harmful to stop these medications by yourself. This can worsen your heart condition.

5. What can I take pain or fever?

Some type of painkillers like Ibuprofen is found to worsen the COVID-19. Such drugs are known to be harmful to heart failure patients and may increase your risk of kidney damage. Avoid NSAIDs or take them only when prescribed by your doctor. Paracetamol is one of the safest pain killers to use if needed.

6. What should I do if I get symptoms suggestive of COVID-19?

In case you get fever, cough, muscle pain without shortness of breath, call your doctor and seek advice on phone. You need to stay at home (at least for 14 days) and avoid close contact with other family members and maintain hand hygiene and correctly wear a medical mask. If there is shortness of breath or worsening symptoms like excessive fatigue call or visit a doctor. But, at the end it's all about prevention rather than cure. That leads to the final question.

7. What should you do to prevent COVID- 19?

COVID-19 spreads by coughs and sneezes, through what are called droplets (tiny amount saliva or other secretions expressed through cough/sneezing or even after a hearty laugh) and through touch. When you touch an object that has the virus particles on it, the virus may get onto hands and when one touches his or her face, they may get infected.

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Virus particles can persist up to three days and therefore it is important to maintain hygiene of one’s surroundings.

The deadly coronavirus, which originated in China’s Wuhan, has claimed the lives of 13 people in India and affected 649 in the country. To control the spread of the virus, the government has imposed a 21-day lockdown in the country and suspended all domestic airlines, rail services and inter-state buses and is urging people to practice ‘social distancing’.

(With IANS inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma