Health Ministry issues Post COVID Management Protocol, advises Yoga, Exercise and Immunity booster

Following the observation that 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, the Union Health Ministry has issued a Post COVID Management Protocol. As the recovery period is likely to be longer for patients who suffered from more severe form of the disease and those with pre-existing illness, the new guidelines provide an integrated holistic approach for managing patients who have recovered enough from COVID for care at home.

Meanwhile over 92,000 new COVID-19 cases and 1,136 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. India’s COVID-19 recovery rate stands at 78 percent. Reported active COVID-19 cases in India now stand at 9,86,598. As many as 37,80,107 COVID-19 patients have been cured and discharged so far, the Union Health Ministry has said in its latest update.

The Ministry has issued a holistic approach which is required for follow up care and well-being of all post- COVID recovering patients. The Protocl is not meant to be used as a preventive / curative therapy, the Ministry clarified while issuing the advisory both at individual and community level. 

At the individual level

  • Continue COVID appropriate behaviour (use of mask, hand & respiratory hygiene, physical distancing).
  • Drink adequate amount of warm water 
  • Take immunity promoting AYUSH medicine 
  • Mild/ moderate exercise, adequate sleep and rest 
  • Daily practice of Yogasana, Pranayama and Meditation
  • Breathing exercises as prescribed by treating physician
  • Daily morning or evening walk at a comfortable pace as tolerated
  • Balanced nutritious diet, preferably easy to digest freshly cooked soft diet
  • Avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol.
  • Self-health monitoring at home - temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar (especially, if diabetic), pulse oximetry etc. 

At the level of community

  • Recovered individuals to share their positive experiences with their friends and relatives using social media, community leaders, opinion leaders, religious leaders for creating awareness, dispelling myths and stigma
  • Take support of community based self-help groups, civil society organizations, and qualified professionals for recovery and rehabilitation process (medical, social, occupational, livelihood)
  • Seek psycho-social support from peers, community health workers, counsellor. If required seek mental health support service
  • Participate in group sessions of Yoga, Meditation etc
  • The first follow-up visit (physical/telephonic) should be within 7 days after discharge, preferably at the hospital where he/she underwent treatment
  • The patients who had undergone home isolation, if they complain of persisting symptoms, will visit the nearest health facility

Severe cases requiring critical care support will require more stringent follow up