Frequently Asked Questions

FOR SELF

1. How does COVID-19 spread? Does it spread by mere proximity without contact?

COVID-19 is primarily spread through airborne respiratory droplets of saliva/ mucus. You can get infected if you come within six feet of someone who is already infected or asymptomatic. It is possible to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

Symptoms of COVID-19 generally appear within14 days after exposure and include fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing. Some patients may develop aches and pains, and diarrhoea as well.

2. I have cough, sore throat and runny nose, do I have Corona virus (COVID-19) Infection?

People with cough, sore throat and runny nose are more likely to be suffering from common cold. But it is advised to be cautious and follow strict home isolation practices when facing the symptoms till 14 days or till the time one fully cures.

COVID-19 manifests with mild symptoms in a majority of cases and can be easily managed with over the counter common cold medicines. There is no difference in the management of common cold or mild cases of COVID-19.

Call your Doctor if you have difficulty in breathing. Also notify if you are elderly, have a history of diabetes (High Blood Sugar), hypertension (High Blood Pressure), or any heart or lung disease.

Individuals who have had recent travel history to foreign countries or have had interactions with people with recent travel history to foreign countries are more likely to have contracted this disease.

3 . I have cough, sore throat and runny nose, fever. What should I do?

Government of Punjab has set up a Helpline No. 104 (24*7) helpline to address all issues related to COVID-19. Any person showing above symptoms or with recent travel history to foreign countries or interactions with people with recent travel history to foreign countries, can call the above helpline number.

Download COVA APP to receive updates on the efforts of Government of Punjab to curtail spread of COVID-19 in the State.

4. Which hospital should I go to if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

You can visit the nearest government dispensary/ hospital for screening/ testing for COVID-19. However, to avoid unnecessary travel you are requested to call Helpline No. 104 for queries related to COVID-19.

5. What precautions should I take for home quarantine?

Quarantine refers to separation of individuals who are not yet ill but have been exposed to COVID-19 and therefore have a potential to become ill. The home quarantine period is for 14 days from contact with a confirmed case.

During home quarantine, a person should ideally be in a well-ventilated room with an attached bathroom. Medicines may be taken to manage fever, cough, and common cold as is generally advised by registered medical practitioner. The individual, who are in home quarantine, must avoid all forms of human contact. Work from home can be done through electronic media, if possible. A mask must be worn at all times. For food and other services, family members can place the food outside the room which may be taken by the isolated. Used utensils may be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

6. My sample is being taken for testing for COVID-19. How much time it will take to get my results and what precautions I should take till then?

Presently, testing for COVID-19 is being done for suspected cases after being admitted in isolation ward of Hospitals. Results of tests are generally available within 2-3 days. One has to follow the quarantine and isolation rigidly as directed by the Hospital Authorities.

7. After recovery how long one has to wait to allow meeting people?

If a person has no fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 for three consecutive days, he/ she can meet family members. However, it should strictly be discussed with your physician, before you go out of isolation.

8. What will happen if my test results are positive?

Persons testing positive for COVID-19 will remain to be hospitalized till such time Hospital Authorities deem fit to discharge.

9. How much is the cost of the treatment for COVID-19? Do I have to bear all the cost of treatment or government will pay for me?

In Government Hospitals, most of the diagnostics test are free of cost, including that of COVID-19. Also, essential medicines are free. The Critical Care Treatment with reference to COVID-19 symptoms shall be free in Government facilities.

10. I don’t want to go to hospital, how to manage myself at home if I have COVID-19?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, i.e. fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing, you are requested to call helpline no. 104, a 24X7 helpline, and setup for the Government of Punjab.

11. What kind of people are more at risk from COVID-19?

Elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions like diabetes (High Blood Sugar), hypertension (High Blood Pressure), or any other heart or lung disease need to more careful and maintain social distancing to avoid contracting Elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions like diabetes (High Blood Sugar), hypertension (High Blood Pressure), or any other heart or lung disease need to more careful and maintain social distancing to avoid contracting COVID-19. COVID-19.

12. I have elderly parents, how do I keep them safe from COVID-19?

Elderly people should ensure 100% home isolation during this time, and should be advised to wash hands after coming in contact with other members or after touching common surfaces and be more cautious about their personal hygiene.

For people taking care of the elderly following proper social distancing protocol is advised. Keep physical interactions with the elderly to a bare minimum. Talking from a distance is encouraged to alleviate their anxiety.

13. I have small children, how do I keep them safe from COVID-19?

Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults.

However, following steps should be followed to protect children from getting sick:

1. They should be made to clean hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

2. They should avoid people who are sick (coughing and sneezing).

3. Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks)

4. Wash regularly used items with soap/ detergent including washable soft toys as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, wash items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely.

5. Dirty laundry from an ill person should be washed with other people’s items.

14. Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

Presently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19. However, research on the same is in process.

15. What does social distancing mean? Can I not interact with my family?

Social distancing entails avoiding direct human contact to the best possible extent. It is recommended that one stays at least 6 feet away from other people because it is important for one’s own health, as well as for the health of others. Once exposed to virus through an infected individual, it takes upto 14 days for the symptoms to develop. Time duration from exposure to onset of symptoms is called incubation period. During this incubation period, it is possible for an individual to be infectious. Hence, it is important to adopt social distancing for the coming days.

One can engage with families at a distance, practice good hand hygiene and general hygiene. If anyone has the flu, cough, cold, it is recommended to use surgical masks to avoid spreading droplets from ones nose and mouth into the air.

16. Why there is curfew and lockdowns, is the situation really got so bad?

Curfew and Lockdown are steps taken by the Government to ensure Social Distancing and avoid crowding. These steps are essential to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and break the chain of transmission of the disease. These are preventive measures without which COVID-19 can spread in an uncontrolled manner resulting in rise of confirmed cases, thus, causing major work pressure on public health infrastructure and also to combat rise in fatalities due to COVID-19.

17. Can one relapse and get COVID-19 again?

Yes, it is possible if immunity has not been developed for the same, one can get COVID-19 again. Therefore, it is important to practice social distancing for an extended period of time.

FOREIGN TRAVELLER

1. What to do if I know someone who has recently returned from abroad and is not under self-quarantine?

In such a situation, call helpline no. 104, a 24X7 helpline setup by the Government of Punjab.

2. What to do if I know someone who has recently returned from abroad and is showing symptoms?

You can advise him/her to visit the nearest Government Hospital for screening for COVID-19. Further, you can advise him/her to download COVA APP of the Government of Punjab to know more about his/her symptoms or call helpline no. 104.

3. What to do if I got in contact to someone who has recently returned from abroad and is showing symptoms?

First, you must go into home quarantine for 14 days and practice social distancing at home as well. Wait till the time suspected contact tests negative. In case, the suspected contact tests positive for COVID-19, while maintaining home quarantine, call helpline no. 104 in case of symptoms or download COVA APP to know more about your symptoms.

4. What are the conditions for home quarantine?

Quarantine refers to separation of individuals who are not yet ill but have been exposed to COVID-19 and therefore have a potential to become ill. The home quarantine period is for 14 days from contact with a confirmed case.

During home quarantine, a person should ideally be in a well-ventilated room with an attached bathroom. Medicines may be taken to manage fever, cough, and cold as is generally advised by registered medical practitioner. The individual who are in home quarantine, must avoid all forms of human contact. Work from home can be done through electronic media, if possible. A mask must be worn at all times. For food and other services, family members can place the food outside the room which may be taken by the isolated. The used utensils may be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

5. My sample is being taken for testing for COVID-19. How much time it will take to get my results and what precautions I should take?

Presently, testing for COVID-19 is being done for suspected cases after being admitted in isolation ward of Hospitals. Results of tests are generally available within 2-3 days. One has to follow the quarantine and isolation rigidly as directed by the hospital authorities.

6. After recovery how long one has to wait to allow meeting people?

If a person has no fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 for three consecutive days, he/ she can meet family members. However, it should strictly be discussed with your physician, before you go out of isolation.

7. Which hospital should I go to for testing for COVID-19?

Sample collection for testing of COVID-19 is being done at all Government Hospitals. Updated list can be seen on www.pbhealth.gov.in

The State of Punjab has established COVID-19 testing at 3 places:

1. PGIMER, Chandigarh

2. Govt. Medical College, Patiala

3. Govt. Medical College, Amritsar

COMPLAINTS

1. What to do if I know someone who has recently returned from abroad and is not observing self-quarantine?

This can be reported on the helpline number 104 setup by the Government of Punjab.

2. What to do if I know someone who has recently returned from abroad and has COVID-19 symptoms but is not getting tested at the Hospital?

This can be reported on the helpline number 104 setup by the Government of Punjab.

3. What do I do if the medical stores run out of essential medicines?

This can be reported on the helpline number 104 setup by the Government of Punjab.

MISCELLANEOUS

1. What are the current rules for travel? Can I travel back to my home in a neighbouring State?

The State of Punjab is currently under lockdown. Hence, travelling beyond borders of States would not be permissible. In lieu of the gravity of the situation, these measures have to be taken to limit travel to mitigate the spread and transmission of COVID-19.

2. Is there any use of wearing a mask to protect against COVID-19?

Masks are to be worn by those exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (such as cough, cold, fever), and especially for those who have been tested positive for COVID-19.

For the others, it is kindly requested that masks are not hoarded and are left available for those in actual need for protective equipment.

HOW TO WEAR A MASK

1. It should cover your mouth, nose and chin with the coloured side facing outwards.

2. Pinch the metal edge of the mask so that it presses gently on your nose bridge.

3. Remove a used mask holding only the ear loops.

4. To be effective, change your masks regularly or if soiled or wet.

5. Wash your hands with soap and water after disposing the soiled masks properly into a bin.

In case of any problem in portal, please email at complaint.covidpb@gmail.com