Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a COVID-19 suspect?
a. A patient with acute respiratory illness (fever and at least one sign/symptom of respiratory disease, e.g., cough, shortness of breath), AND a history of travel to or residence in a location reporting community transmission of COVID-19 disease during the 14 days prior to symptom onset;
b. A patient with any acute respiratory illness AND having been in contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case in the last 14 days prior to symptom onset;
c. A patient with severe acute respiratory illness (fever and at least one sign/symptom of respiratory disease, e.g., cough, shortness of breath; AND requiring hospitalization) AND in the absence of an alternative diagnosis that fully explains the clinical presentation.
Who is a contact?
The time of association is significant here.
For a symptomatic COVID positive case: Contact is one, who has been close to a COVID positive individual any time starting from 2 days before onset of the illness until the patient’s isolation
For asymptomatic patients: Contact is one who has had a close association starting 2 days prior to specimen collection until the patient testing positive and shifting to a home or institutional quarantine.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has defined a Coronavirus contact as a healthy person who has been close enough to a COVID positive person or a contaminated environment for an exposure, and therefore at a higher risk of contracting the disease.
The ministry has further explained a contact as:
1. Someone who has shared household with a COVID positive person
2. Anybody who had a direct physical contact with a confirmed positive
3. Those who have been in direct physical contact with a patient’s infectious secretions either without recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) or with a possible breach of PPE
4. People who have been in a closed environment or had face-to-face contact with an infected person at a distance of within or less than a metre including air travel
Who is a probable COVID-19 case?
Who is a confirmed COVID-19 positive?
What are the common, less common, moderate, severe and emergency symptoms of COVID?
- Dry Cough
- Breathing difficulties
And less common symptoms of corona disease are:
- Aches and Pains
- Sore Throat
- Loss of Taste or Smell
- A Rash on Skin, Or Discolouration of Fingers or Toes
Some moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms are
- Mild to severe pneumonia, mild / moderate / severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
- Sepsis, septic shock
- Acute Respiratory Illness (ARI)
- Influenza-like-illnesses (ILI) -according to the WHO, the symptoms are an acute respiratory infection with fever of ≥ 38 C° and cough that has had an onset within the last 10 days.
- Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) – According to the WHO, the symptoms include an acute respiratory infection with a history of fever or measured fever of ≥ 38 C°, cough, onset within the last 10 days, and hospitalization requirement.
Emergency symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- Trouble breathing
- Constant pain or pressure in your chest
- Bluish lips or face
- Sudden confusion
What is SPO2? Why is it important to check in COVID patients?
TESTING MODALITIES OF SAMPLES BY LABS IN KARNATAKA
As per Karnataka Government guidelines, for which cases will individual testing be conducted by labs?
When will labs conduct pooled sample testing in Karnataka?
How many types of COVID tests are there?
What are COVID diagnostic tests?
Antigen based Rapid Diagnostic Tests or RDTs deliver fastest results whereas molecular tests like the RT-PCR take a little longer to confirm presence of the viral genome in our body but are more accurate with results.
Are the rapid diagnostic tests for COVID-19 sensitive enough?
What are foreign substances to our body?
What are antibodies?
How do we get antibodies in our body?
RAPID ANTIBODY TEST
What is a serological test?
Blood, serum, or plasma is used to look for the presence of IgM and IgG antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2.
How does the rapid antibody test work?
Why is it called a Rapid Antibody Test?
How long does it take to develop antibodies against the COVID-19?
Are rapid IgG detection tests accurate?
Rapid antibody tests are not considered confirmatory or diagnostic by WHO or ICMR as they have low accuracy in the initial stages of the infection. Accuracy is highest with Antibody tests during the 3rd week of COVID infection. Authorities have noted that some tests may detect IgM that may have been produced in response to other Coronaviruses like common colds, and mistake them for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
Does the Antibody test work any time during an infection?
Amongst the Rapid Antigen Test and Rapid Antibody Test, which test works better during the early stages of infection?
When is antibody test useful?
What do you mean by an antibody test sensitivity?
What is a serological test specificity?
Which kind of immunoglobulins are checked in the rapid detection tests?
- IgM antibodies (Immunoglobulin M) appears first, as the initial response to an infection.
- IgG antibodies (Immunoglobulin G or Gamma Globulin) are produced mostly a while after the body exhibits symptoms of infection. In case of SARS-CoV-2, it may take 7 to 10 days.
What does an IgM antibody test show us?
What can IgG antibody test tell us?
Does presence of IgG mean we are safe from reinfection? Once recovered, can we develop immunity to Coronavirus?
Is this antibody test a COVID diagnostic test?
When should I get a serology (antibody) test done?
How does the IgG antibody test help in fight against COVID-19?
- Studies to assess the proportion of population exposed to coronavirus
- Surveys in high risk population like health workers, media & press, police & administration, sanitation workers, industrial workers, migrant labourers including individuals in containment zones or hotspots
- To know who has been infected from coronavirus in the past and has now recovered
- Identification of persons infected in the past, but now recovered and is a potential plasma donor
- Surveys to understand the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 for informed policy making
- Prioritizing patients for vaccination against COVID-19, as and when COVID vaccine hits the market
Are antibody tests advised for diagnosing active COVID-19 infections?
RAPID ANTIGEN TEST
When should you get a Rapid Antigen Test done?
How much time it takes to get results of rapid antigen test for diagnosis of COVID-19 at RxDx?
Why is rapid antigen test introduced in Karnataka?
How is the sample for rapid antigen test collected?
- Trained lab tech in complete personal protective equipment (PPE) collects only nasopharyngeal swab, no other source of sample is acceptable
- Tests must be conducted within an hour of sample collection
- All test results must be entered into the ICMR database
RAPID ANTIGEN TEST IN CONTAINMENT ZONES
How does the mobile testing happen?
What’s the protocol regarding symptomatic or asymptomatic patients in swab collection centres?
What happens when result is positive and patient is in a containment or buffer zone?
- Team calls 108
- Team does quick triage on the spot to check if home isolation is feasible or not
- Patient is shifted to CCC or hospital or recommended home isolation
What happens when antigen test result is negative, irrespective of zone?
Helpline and Karnataka government advise for COVID negative
- Call 14410 – Apthamitra free helpline number for fever, cough, breathlessness symptoms
- Don’t go out unless unavoidable
- Wear a mask outside
- Stay safe and healthy
Helpline and Karnataka government advise for COVID positive
- Call 108 for breathlessness, take the ambulance to get admitted
- If asymptomatic, stay isolated at home. Government officials will get in touch to triage and assess your medical condition.
- Seek help, call 104 and press 4, if you are in distress (very anxious, low mood, disturbed sleep and appetite).
TRIAGING OF COVID-19 PATIENTS
How a COVID-19 patient is triaged by government or private hospitals in Karnataka?
- Fever is checked with a hand held thermal scanner
- Fingertip pulse oximeter is used to check SPO2 and pulse rate
- Glucometer is used to check random blood sugar
- BP apparatus is used to record blood pressure
- A patient’s comorbidities are enquired and recorded
What happens after the triage of COVID-19 patients?
- Based on the assessment, doctor certifies whether a patient is eligible for home isolation or not.
- If the patient or their family aren’t willing to opt for home isolation, or the patient is found to have moderate to severe symptoms, they are recommended appropriate COVID care facility.
Who should be hospitalized?
Who is considered an asymptomatic / mild patient and eligible for home isolation?
- If patient is clinically assigned so
- Age < 60 years
- No or mild fever < 38 C or < 100.4 F
- Mild cough, cold, sore throat
- A functional fingertip pulse oximeter is available at home
- Oxygen saturation reads ≥ 95%
- Random blood sugar is between 80-140 mmol
- Systolic BP is >100 mm Hg
- If patient has following conditions but those are well under control and assessed by the medical officer/doctor: hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity, thyroid disorder
- No history of cancer, stroke, TB; disorders like kidney (including dialysis patient), heart; HIV, immunocompromised; on steroids or immunosuppressant and certified by patient
- If pregnant, estimated date of delivery is beyond 4 weeks
What process is followed after triage to allow patient go into home isolation?
- Patient willingly signs an undertaking on self-isolation and agrees to follow guidelines on same
- Patient receives diet chart, advise, and explanation of same
- Patient receives prescription and test recommendations
- Patient and caregiver receive instructions on disinfection methods, separate washing of linens and cleaning of utensils at home
- Patient understands how to identify warning signs and symptoms and receives Do’s and Don’ts handouts
- Primary / high risk contacts of the patient are advised Hydroxy-Chloroquine Sulphate (HCQ)
- Primary / high risk contacts of the patient are advised COVID test. To be done 5 days after date of most recent exposure.
- Patient is guided on total 17 days of home isolation and release protocol
- Patient understands that any isolation protocol violation may lead to strict legal action
What should you do after providing sample for COVID testing?
COVID CARE CENTRES IN STAYING FACILITIES/ HOTELS
What are private medical establishment-managed COVID Care Centre (CCC)?
Why has the government approved establishment of CCC?
Who can avail a CCC?
Who signs the consent for a private CCC institution?
What are the CCC admission Eligibility criteria in Karnataka?
Any asymptomatic/symptomatic COVID positive person who meet one or more from below criteria will be admitted directly to a COVID Care Centre after triage:
Any age but not eligible for Home Isolation or wishes to opt for a CCC
Body temperature recorded >38C or >100.4F for over four hours
With co-morbidities like hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity, thyroid disease, but well-managed and clinically under good control as assessed by a medical officer/doctor
Without co-morbidities like heart or kidney diseases (including dialysis patients), stroke, tuberculosis, cancer, HIV, immune compromised, or steroid / immunosuppressants, etc
Any patient admitted to CCC should have vitals in the line of:
Oxygen saturation ≥ 95%
Respiratory rate < 24/min
Pulse rate < 100/min
What process do you go through after admission to CCC?
SRF ID and personal ID
Thermal scanning for temperature
SpO2 and pulse rate by fingertip pulse oximeter
Blood pressure via BP apparatus
Random blood glucose by glucometer
Enquiry of medical history, comorbidities, records verification if available
Based on symptoms severity, any case not matching criteria to be shifted to Dedicated COVID Health Centres (DCHC) or Dedicated COVID Hospital (DCH)
KARNATAKA GOVERNMENT HELPLINES
Where can you seek help to shift to a hospital?
- Shifting across treatment facilities in Bangalore across CCC and hospitals (excludes shifting between 2 private facilities)
- Receives distress calls for COVID or SARI (breathlessness) and allows ambulance dispatch for shifting
How does 108 help the COVID patients?
- Any patient with breathing difficulty can call the toll-free number 108 for ambulance service
- If already a COVID positive confirmed case, the patient will be shifted to a centre or hospital as per protocol
- If patient hasn’t been tested yet, will be taken to a hospital for testing, triage, and treatment. If positive, patient will be shifted from isolation to COVID ward in the hospital, if negative, moved to non-COVID ward
- Asymptomatic COVID caller will be rerouted to BBMP’s bed allocation team for procedure.
What is this 1912 number?
QUARANTINE GUIDES FOR APARTMENTS
If you are found to be COVID positive, how much of your area is sealed off?
Why not just your apartment is sealed?
Why are some people asked to go for 28 days quarantine? Why not the usual 14 days?
Is it all right if you go for a walk or jog or run inside your residential complex? What’s the right time and safety measure you can follow?
Can housekeeping staff be allowed inside the complex of a COVID patient?
COVID-19 Home Care Packages
Starting at ₹350 / Day