Doctor Speaks: ‘Follow All Precautions, Take Six Minute Walk Test’

Dr Vijay Kundal

JAMMU: A large number of Covid patients remain asymptomatic and recover without observing any significant ailment or symptoms of the infection. All individuals are therefore expected to be skeptic about every other individual, including oneself, as carrier of Covid-19 virus, just as a precautionary measure. Still, if ever in doubt, the doctors suggest taking the Six Minute Walk Test, a rudimentary exercise to judge if one needs medical help or not.

The Head of Medicine at Government Medical College & Hospital Jammu, Dr Vijay Kundal explains the test as, “In the test, the subject walks for six minutes, and if his oxygen saturation level falls, either by three percent or below 94, it is time to consult a doctor. Such patients must lie in prone position to restore oxygen saturation quickly”.

In prone-position, the patient is made to lie facing down, with arms bent comfortably at the elbow and positioned forward.

Dr Kundal also reminds that the popular saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ also applies to Covid infection and that there is no better way to implement it in our lives than by adopting Covid appropriate behaviour. The behaviour, he explains, includes wearing mask, frequent hand sanitisation and keeping distance while in public.

The doctor attests the government’s instructions: going out only if necessary, self hygiene, wearing mask and avoiding crowd, and also requests people to ‘teach social distancing to others around’. Timely vaccination is another defence against the virus, he says.

To those who have tested positive or are simply under Covid hysteria, the doctor says, ‘there is no need to panic as most of the Covid cases fall under mild category who recover easily. Such people display symptoms like cough and cold’. They should immediately isolate themselves and eat healthy food, he advises.

Elaborating further, Dr Kundal says that Covid patients without any comorbidity are also able to recover easily in most of the cases. ‘In any case’, he reminds, ‘if one’s oxygen saturation level falls below 94 percent, the patient, whether comorbid or not, should immediately consult a doctor’.

If somehow, all doctors advice, Covid symptoms persist even after four to five days, one must immediately seek medical help. ‘Please do not delay hospitalisation! Many of Covid deaths are due to delay in reporting by the patients’, informs Dr Kundal.

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