Bangladeshi healthcare company Digital Healthcare Solutions has launched a Coronavirus symptom check online.
It is available free of cost. Anybody can go to their site (https://coronachecker.dh.health/) and give his or her present basic health information and get an assessment of whether one is at risk of infection by the virus or not.
This is developed in Bangladesh by Digital Healthcare Solutions (DH), a Grameen social business company, which was previously known as Telenor Health.
It is offering digital healthcare services for the last four years and has a client base of over five million, said a media release on Thursday.
Through this announcement, DH encourages each person to spend 40 seconds every day to do the check to make sure things are same as on previous days.
“Corona Symptom Checker” (https://coronachecker.dh.health/) empowers everyone by offering a smart solution for self-assessment of the symptoms one might have and whether those are related to COVID-19.
Coronavirus can even be particularly deadly for elderly people, or those with preexisting diseases, if not addressed at the right time.
This symptom checker incorporates the latest medical insights from NHS UK, CDC in the USA, and DGHS of Bangladesh and enables anyone, sitting at home, to conduct a risk analysis check in less than a minute.
DH explains that the purpose of its symptom checker is to help users make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care, and it is not intended for the full diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19.
The online tool asks a series of questions to establish the level of illness being experienced by the user and directs them with appropriate recommendations as per DGHS and IEDCR guidelines.
Recommendations range from calling the government hotline (16233, 333), staying at home and visiting designated hospitals or isolated places within a hospital. A series of health tips and videos are also available, on how to wash hands effectively, and how to safely quarantine and isolate when required.
As the Coronavirus is sweeping through almost all the countries of the world including Bangladesh affecting more than 463,000 people with a death toll of nearly 21,000 as of March 25, hospitals are being flooded with hundreds of thousands of patients, who, in most cases are not even related to Coronavirus infection, said the media release.
Unless advised by physicians, COVID-19 patients should avoid visiting hospitals and stay in self isolation at their homes to ensure the prevention of further spread of the infection.
If used properly, “Corona Symptom Checker” can help the country reduce additional pressure on the healthcare system by keeping patients with mild symptoms at home not hospital.
The only way to protect ourselves from this outbreak is staying at home, social distancing, and raising awareness of prevention and symptoms of the virus.
“These are extraordinary times for everyone. The more we take control to understand our symptoms, the better we would be able to help our health system look after the critically ill patients. Share this as widely as possible to your family and loved ones, and ensure everyone takes the checker,” said Dr Khaled Hasan, Head of Clinical Operations, Digital Healthcare Solutions.
The world is shivering with fear and anxiety due to the massacre caused by the new coronavirus 2019. The number of newly affected persons is skyrocketing day by day. The death toll of COVID-19 disease is mounting rapidly around the world pushing us into great despair. The Governments of different countries around the world have already shut down schools, offices, and markets to avoid the further outbreak of COVID-19 disaster. People are asked to stay at home and maintain self-quarantine. However, while staying in home quarantine many people are suffering from coronavirus-anxiety which is deteriorating their mental and physical health. Here goes some ways about how to handle your coronavirus anxiety during the home quarantine.
It is great to stay aware of the current situation of COVID-19 occurrences in your city and the country. But if you are frequently checking out the statistics of how many people are getting affected or dying every day, then you are risking your mental peace. Remember that worrying can’t save you from coronavirus, but awareness does! However, escaping the news totally may not be wise. It would be sensible to reserve a fixed period of your daily schedule for checking the latest news update instead of watching the news constantly throughout the whole day. If you are anxious about any health issue, you can share with your family members and take medical assistance, if required.
Nowadays, people are often Google about health issues rather than seeing a doctor, which might be dangerous. If you experience any symptoms of Coronavirus consult with a doctor, instead of wasting time for Googling. Google is flooded with counterfeit medical message-boards, blogs, and forums who often suggest dubious health advice. For instance, if you search for covid19 symptoms, Google will pull thousands of articles from both authentic and non-authentic sources. Some of their information might seem contradictory. It may increase your anxiety and worsen your health situation. So, it would be better to follow a reliable authentic source – like the WHO Coronavirus website – to stay informed.
It is told that a lazy brain is the creator of evil thoughts. Are you staying at home and watching TV continuously? The news scrolls will remind you about the morbid effect of COVID-19, even if you are skipping the news bulletin. It requires some effort to escape the panic regarding coronavirus which is gulping the whole world every moment. The easiest way to immune from coronavirus anxiety is to divert your mind. You can make a routine for your quarantine period. Start your morning with some workouts and/or yoga. Schedule a timetable for watching your favorite TV show, reading a new novel, maintaining a blog, watering your plants, doing household chores, etc. When you can keep your mind busy with creative works, anxiety can hardly catch you!
In our hectic days, it is not possible always to extract some quality time for sitting on the couch to watch a movie or eating a meal together with all family members. Coronavirus home quarantine period can give you this windfall opportunity. If you have kids, spend more time with them helping in their academic study. To ditch the anxiety you can bake/cook a mouth-watering dish. You can also surprise your loved ones making their favorite food. It will not only help you to reduce your anxiety but also help other members of your family to stay healthy and happy.
If you are constantly worrying about the death of you and your loved ones, you will eventually get sick of mental shock which is no less harmful than any virus attack. Therefore, try to be optimistic about the win of humankind against COVID-19. Instead of emphasizing on death tolls of COVID-19, think about the increasing rate of recovery from the new coronavirus 2019. Always try to remember that nothing on earth is permanent. Sooner or later the morbid occurrences of COVID-19 will end and the people will get back to their regular pace of life. Until that situation arrives, hold your patience with immense mental stamina. It will give you hope to fight against this disaster both mentally and physically.
So far we have discussed some steps to reduce your coronavirus anxiety. If you are still worried about Coronavirus, then schedule a daily ‘Worry Time’. You can allow yourself a limited period – like 30 minutes or less – to get anxious. During this period you can watch the news or read an authentic blog to stay aware of the COVID-19 situation. It will both pacify your curiosity and help you stay aware of what’s happening around the world. After that go back to your quarantine routine and occupy yourself with other healthy tasks.
On the whole, your mental strength can protect yourself from Coronavirus anxiety. However, it is strictly recommended to take care of your health, stay at home quarantine, practice hygiene, maintain social distance, and take necessary safety precautions to prevent getting infected by Coronavirus 2019. Stay Safe!
To prevent the contagion of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), the government has shut down schools across the country. Mass people are advised for staying at home and maintaining social distance. However, young kids can hardly understand the gravity of this situation. As the school is closed, the enthusiastic young souls are eager to go outside to play with other kids. Many parents are struggling to confine their kids within four walls for quarantine. Teaching kids about social distancing has become a nightmare. Here you will find some effective ways to keep your children busy and entertained during the period of coronavirus home quarantine.
While the school is open, the life of a kid circulates around a tight schedule for waking up earning in the morning, having breakfast, getting dressed up for school, doing the homework after school, playing with friends in the afternoon and going to bed, etc. You can generate a week-long schedule for your kid replicating its school-week timetables along with some additions and deductions. Plan a timetable for the whole day ranging from waking up to bed-time. Keep time for eating, learning, playing, etc. Map the schedule keeping in mind about your kid’s personal behavioral traits. Help the kid to cope up with that new life-routine.
To keep your kid in touch with school education, it is necessary to continue homeschooling during the quarantine. You can intelligently make out a plan on how to get the best out of the quarantine for academic purposes. You can engage your kid in solving math problems. You can also give it a language workbook. Try to emphasize the areas where your child needs help. You can also let the kid study following its own interest. If you can give your kid some incentives for reaching its study goals, it will feel more enthusiasm in learning. Keeping the child busy in reading will keep it motivated when the schools will reopen after a few days.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children starting from three-year-old gain benefits if parents include some manageable chores in their timetable. You might have noticed sometimes that your kid feels entertained while doing chores with you. You can ask your kid to help you with household chores. It will both keep the kid occupied and help it to grow up as a responsible person. However, considering the age level of your kids you can select chores like organizing their own wardrobe, sorting out their own dirty laundry, cleaning its own bed, bringing things you need from another room, breaking the shell of a hardboiled egg, etc.
Kids tend to get pleasure from running, jumping, and moving organs almost for no reason. But the imposed social distancing during coronavirus home quarantine can make them feel bored. Why don’t you encourage your kid in practicing some easy workouts? It would be more enjoyable if you engage your kids in your daily morning workout session. It will not only make the kid utilize its energy, but also help it in calming the mind and staying away from boredom. You can devise some kid-friendly workout ideas, like deep breathing, meditation, simple Yoga techniques, mindfulness, etc.
It is said that every negative thing comes with a bit of positivity. In the hectic days, you may barely manage time to sit and listen to your kids. Now you can utilize the home quarantine period in strengthening the bonding with your kids. Try to spend some quality time with your kids. Do whatever the kid gets fun of. You can allow the kid to choose its favorite food, then start baking together. Thus the mind of your kid will get occupied in learning a new thing, which can make it feel like a winner. Besides working together, you can cuddle together while reading a children's book or watching a children's movie. You can also sing and/or dance with your kid or arrange an in-house picnic with your family members. These small attempts will make the kids forget about stepping out from home until the quarantine phase ends.
It is not necessary to spend all the quarantine hours reading academic books. The advancement of technology occupies their leisure time watching TV and video games instead of reading. Kids of this generation rarely find time to read extracurricular books like rhymes, or fairy tales. As the quarantine period gives you the opportunity to spend a lot of extra time with your kid, indulge them in reading a book outside their curriculum. It can get your kid to develop a reading habit in a natural way. Furthermore, reading supplementary books can enrich their vocabulary, build language skills, and flourish their creativity.
The holiday of a kid is meant to play with friends. The home quarantine can be relaxing for adults, but it sounds like a punishment for young kids. To save your kid from feeling monotony you can engage it with some productive and motivating tasks. You can encourage your kid to build a structure with logos utilizing its own imagination and creativity. You can also employ the kid in solving puzzles, which will not only sharpen its problem-solving skills but also improve its memory. What is more? You can arrange some art supplies, and introduce your kid to the magic of portraying an imaginary world with paints, color pencils, markers, or crayons. To please the craving mind of your kid you can also give it a science kit. Doing fun with scientific experiments your kid may discover its own passion; who knows!
First, some of the coronavirus tests didn't work. Then there weren't enough to go around. Now, just as the federal government tries to ramp up nationwide screening, laboratory workers are warning of a new roadblock: dire shortages of testing supplies.
The shortages are the latest stumble in a botched effort to track the spread of coronavirus that has left the U.S. weeks behind many other developed countries. Dwindling supplies include both chemical components and basic swabs needed to collect patient samples.
There are "acute, serious shortages across the board" for supplies needed to do the tests, said Eric Blank, of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, which represents state and local health labs.
Late Friday, Blank's group and two other public health organizations recommended that testing be scaled back due to "real, immediate, wide-scale shortages." The groups said only patients with COVID-19 symptoms who are elderly, have high-risk medical conditions or are medical staff should be tested.
"Testing for individuals who are not in these three groups is not recommended until sufficient testing supplies and capacity become more widely available," said the joint statement, issued with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists.
Testing is a critical part of tracking and containing infectious diseases like COVID-19. But the U.S. effort has been plagued by a series of missteps, including accuracy problems with tests the CDC sent to other labs and bureaucratic hurdles that slowed the entrance of large, private sector labs.
With the virus spreading, officials in the U.S. have shifted focus from tracking the virus to extraordinary measures to blunt its damage. On Thursday California's governor told its 40 million residents to stay home indefinitely and venture outside only for essential jobs.
But public health experts stress that policymakers are "flying blind" in deciding how to manage the pandemic.
"The only way to get through it without testing is to keep the entire country quarantined for the next 18 months" said Dr. Ashish Jha, a Harvard University global health professor. "That obviously is untenable."
Jha and his colleagues say the U.S. should be screening 100,000 to 150,000 people per day. The current rate is roughly 20,000 per day, he estimates, though it is accelerating as larger commercial companies ramp up testing.
The director of Missouri's state lab said Friday that his facility is facing shortages of swabs, liquids to store patient samples and kits to develop the results. Many labs are having similar problems, said Bill Whitmar.
"Quite frankly, 95% to 98% of the talk between lab directors has been about the shortage of supplies," Whitmar said.
At this point only 500 swabs are available. And the lab only has supplies to last through Tuesday, he reported.
The Jefferson City lab does only a fraction of the coronavirus testing performed in Missouri, with commercial labs now doing the largest share. But Whitmar's lab is where tests are run on the people most likely to be infected in that state.
The shortages have become a central concern in increasingly urgent communications among governors and federal officials.
"Most of my phone calls today have been about swabs," Gov. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island said during a Tuesday news conference. "That's our big issue at the moment."
The Trump administration's top health official suggested Friday that the "anecdotal" reports of shortages are caused by confusion about how to find alternative supplies.
"Usually it's that the lab people do not understand that there are alternative supplies in the marketplace that they are perfectly free to use," Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar told reporters in a briefing at the White House. He said the federal government is purchasing and shipping swabs to states.
Whitmar, the Missouri lab director, said many suppliers just don't have the products in stock.
"An order is not a swab in hand," he said.
On Friday, New York City health officials directed medical providers to limit COVID-19 testing to people sick enough to require hospitalization, saying wider testing is exhausting supplies of protective equipment. The city's health department said unnecessary testing was contributing to a shortage of masks, gowns, collection swabs and other supplies.
The coronavirus test uses a chemical chain reaction to detect tiny traces of the virus' genetic material and reproduce it many times. State and local health labs follow the technique first developed by the CDC, which calls for a specific genetic kit made by German diagnostic firm Qiagen. Labs around the globe are reporting shortage of those kits.
Qiagen said this week it is trying to boost production from normal levels, which are capable of testing 1.5 million patients per month, to amounts that would allow for testing more than 10 million patients by the end of June.
The World Health Organization has instructed countries to "test, test, test" to track and isolate those carrying the virus. But the evolving message from U.S. decision-makers acknowledges that many suspected cases will likely go untested.
The White House has increasingly emphasized that testing should prioritize the elderly and health care workers who have symptoms of the virus. While most cases of COVID-19 are mild and tens of thousands of people have recovered, older people and those with underlying health problems are at higher risk for more serious problems, such as pneumonia.
"We don't want everyone to go out and get a test because there's no reason for it," President Donald Trump told reporters in a briefing Friday. (Two weeks ago, Trump declared "anybody who wants a test can get a test." But his deputies later walked back that statement.)
The CDC tells people to seek testing if they have certain symptoms of the flu-like illness caused by the coronavirus – fever, cough and trouble breathing – and if they have traveled recently to an outbreak area or have been in close contact with someone who is infected. They should first be tested for the flu and other routine infections.
While doctors are supposed to decide who ultimately gets tested, many state labs have adjusted their guidelines depending on testing availability.
The Trump administration is expected to soon announce the rollout of nearly 50 community-based testing centers around the country, including drive-thru sites.
Some experts worry the introduction of convenient, mass screening will divert supplies from people with severe symptoms to those who face lower risks.
"It's taking supplies that are already in very short supply away from the testing laboratories that are doing necessary testing," said Blank, of the public health labs association.
Millions are asking for clear, comprehensive information and guidelines regarding the novel coronavirus. Unfortunately, the U.S. public hasn't received factual information or future direction from the federal government. Instead, the government has underreported cases and local transmission rates due to a lack of testing kits.
But during a crisis, leadership can come from unexpected places.
As he suspended all NBA games, commissioner Adam Silver delivered a powerful message to the public that the outbreak must be taken seriously. With that single announcement, Silver enforced more effective public health policy than the White House has during this pandemic. Shortly thereafter, all other major sports leagues followed his lead; the NBA's decisive action helped the dominoes fall.
Last January, NFL running back Marshawn Lynch delivered solid advice for his younger colleagues in a post-game interview: take care of your bodies, your mentals, and your chicken (that is, your money). Fortuitously, this is also applicable for everyone during COVID-19.
As an assistant professor of biology at The Pennsylvania State University, I study infectious disease risks and preventative solutions. I know the only way to stop this outbreak and prevent severe cases is to reduce transmission. Without all of us changing our behavior, those who are more likely to experience severe outcomes will have negative health outcomes.
While the elderly and people with respiratory conditions are at highest risk, severe cases have also been reported in young, otherwise healthy people. Without behavioral interventions, so many patients will require hospitalization, they will exceed the capacity of the U.S. health care system. This will cause preventable deaths.
Reducing overall transmission will protect the most vulnerable members of our communities and keep the health care system functioning. You are no longer making decisions for only yourself, you have to constantly consider how your personal behavior is going to impact everyone around you and everyone around them.
You need space, but you also need connection
So far, no pharmaceutical interventions, such as vaccines and antiviral drugs, exist. At the moment, we must rely on basic public health measures: wash your hands frequently, don't touch your face, use hand sanitizer, and limit your exposure to others. It may sound simplistic, but those things are enormously helpful. Non-pharmaceutical interventions are extremely effective against infectious diseases; all Ebola epidemics prior to 2014 are just one example.
Right now, this means avoiding direct physical contact with others. Avoid crowds, currently groups over 10, reduce or eliminate non-essential travel, and expand the space between you and others to practice social distancing. Give yourself about 6 feet of space. But if you're feeling sick, you don't have to become sedentary or trapped indoors. Go for a walk, dance around your house, or tune into on-demand fitness or YouTube instructors. If you think you're getting sick (or if you're already sick) you need to stay home and keep away from others. Self-quarantine is a good idea anytime you think you have an infectious disease.
Social distancing is actually physical distancing; it does not mean social isolation. During this outbreak, your mental health is critical and vulnerable right now. Social support helps and is also linked to physical health. It's allconnected.
Make deliberate efforts to be in touch with family, friends, or colleagues/classmates who are now telecommuting. Any kind of direct communication will be supportive: email, texts, video chats, even voice calls, if that's your thing. It's likely someone you know will end up in quarantine or isolation for 14 days, and it will be psychologically challenging. Help them, but don't take on all the responsibility.
Create a schedule to have a different friend or relative check in with them. Also note that social media can have negative impacts on mental health. Don't assume Instagram puppies will keep your quarantined friends fully supported.
Missing travel or events you've been excited about will bring disappointment. It's OK to feel sad about losses that seem trivial right now. The endless stream of news, with rapidly changing information and misinformation, can be overwhelming. The lack of a large-scale management plan from the government might leave you frustrated. Take a moment to acknowledge those feelings of insecurity. Now more than ever, don't face your anxiety alone.
We're in this together
Finally, the meaty part of all this: Don't blow your paycheck stockpiling months of food and supplies. Don't panic and buy every possible over-the-counter drug. Buy what you need and leave the rest for others.
It is a good idea to check your prescription medications and make sure you've got a month's supply on hand. Assess the shelf-stable foods you have. You may own enough unexpired cans and products to get you through several days. Aim to have two to four weeks of non-perishables around so you don't have to shop frequently and base your decisions on what you can safely spend and store.
Since this outbreak began, the federal government has fumbled response and preparedness. Conversely, local government officials set precedents to eliminate costs for testing and treatment. New York, Washington and California led the way, announcing free testing early.
On March 12, Rep. Katie Porter pressed the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to finally deliver a long-overdue "guarantee" of free coronavirus testing for every American. We don't know how this will roll out operationally, given the shortage of test kits, but the importance of free testing cannot be overstated. People don't get tested if they're worried about costs. And that's a huge problem: Unreported or mild cases lead to transmission that is nearly impossible to stop.
Employers also need to encourage and reward responsible self-quarantining behavior. Paid sick leave would vastly improve compliance with self-quarantine measures. A system where sick days translate to lost wages promotes virus transmission.
This outbreak will continue to change our lives. We will not go back to the way things were in two weeks. We are looking ahead to a new normal. To protect the most vulnerable members of our communities, the less vulnerable must make responsible and unselfish choices. The necessary interventions to manage this outbreak have been unprecedented and sometimes unpopular but necessary. Marshawn Lynch wisely instructed us to protect our bodies, our mentals, and our chicken. Now it's our responsibility to extend that to protecting each other.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here: https://theconversation.com/how-to-maintain-physical-and-mental-health-during-coronavirus-133602.