TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?: Here’s What You Need To Know

The following is a transcript of Kashmir Observer’s facebook live interview with Dr Khawar Achakzai, Registrar General Medicine, SMHS 

If someone tests positive for Covid-19, what are the things that they need to monitor, who are they supposed to contact?

First of all, if someone tests positive for Covid-19 infection, whether through Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) or RT-PCR, the first wise and sane step would be to inform the authorities because they need to compile the data regarding how many people test positive. There should be proper documentation of people who have tested positive. After that get a consultation. But if you are feeling good, get an oximeter and a thermometer. Check your oxygen saturation. If you are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, an online or an on phone consultation should be enough. In case of comorbidities like diabetes, hypertension, asthma, tuberculosis and other diseases, go to the hospital and carry out the investigations that your doctor asks for.

If you are in home isolation, check your oxygen saturation every 6 hours and check the temperature every day and keep the record of the same. Look for the change in breathing pattern and respiratory rate. If from the assessment of your temperature and saturation, you feel that you are not well, put a call to your physician and visit the nearby hospital. Make sure you do not visit hospital unnecessarily because we have limited resources and we should not overburden them.

While one is monitoring oneself if they have tested positive for Covid-19 what are the things that would require immediate and urgent medical attention or even hospitalization?

  • In case the oxygen saturation drops less than 92%.
  • In case the patient develops a severe fever. In case this fever is despite taking all the measures and the medicines that were prescribed by the doctor.
  • In case there is a problem with breathing.
  • In case there are gastric complaints like diarrhoea.
  • In case the attendants of a patient notice a change in talking pattern.
  • In the case of diabetic patients who have been diagnosed with Covid, if you see that their blood sugars are suddenly running out of control or their baseline conditions are running out of control.
  • In all these conditions it is better to re-seek medical advice.

What is the normal oxygen saturation and what oxygen saturation requires immediate medical attention?

Anything more than 92% is a normal saturation. Anything between 90-92% would mean the person inform the call doctor through a phone call. Anything less than 90% would mean that the patient has to be rushed to the hospital. 

With the new strain, we have also observed that RT-PCR tests are coming negative, in that case, what is one supposed to do? 

If anybody develops any signs and symptoms that are typical of the disease irrespective of the fact if they tested positive or negative on RT-PCR, they have to be isolated, treated and managed like a Covid patient.

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