Waiting lines in the clinics and hospitals may have disappeared during the closure to contain the coronavirus, but doctors are busy as usual and reporting points are noisy. The questions are numerous and sometimes overwhelming.
I have flu-like symptoms. Do I have coronavirus? So we can get the virus from products made in China? Hotlines are flooded with alarming requests covering the spectrum from gray to deep gray series. Doctors are busy talking to a panic-stricken audience trying to deal with a coronavirus pandemic that has plagued the world.
The most frequently asked questions relate to symptoms and prevention: does summer kill the coronavirus, should outdoor food and non-vegetable products be avoided, does smoking affect the chances of recovery? Are facial masks useful? Are hand sanitizers better than soap?
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And then the panic gives way to naivety with the questions that make doctors fight for answers: Is it possible to be infected by mail from China? Is the virus killed by drinking hot water? Are Indians more immune to the coronavirus than others? Is the risk higher with brick houses? And those with beards and moustaches are more susceptible to this disease?
Vishal Sehgal, director of Portea Medical, based in Goa, told PTI that their WhatsApp chat service, launched on March 3, is now available to customers in the United States. The project started in March and received more than 15 applications from more than 16 countries. In addition, they receive more than 100 calls a day on their KOVID-19 helpline.
There are many fears and doubts among people about KOVID-19. It is mainly about what the virus is, how it works and what safety measures need to be taken. There are also many questions about what to do if they develop symptoms.
The WhatsAppchat startup service, launched on March 3rd, has received more than 15 paint requests from more than 16 countries.
But sometimes the questions are absurd, for example whether it is true that drinking beer can help combat the coronavirus, said Sehgal PTI.
Worldwide, COWID-19 has infected more than 1.8 million people and killed 114,000 people. In India, the number of deaths rose to 308 on Mondays and the number of cases to 9152, according to the Union Ministry of Health.
Hemant Kalra, a respirologist at lybrate.com (an online platform that connects patients with healthcare professionals), said it’s natural for people to panic when they consume so much information from so many different sources. While media reports and health advice may be reliable, there are also random cases that WhatsApp may encounter.
Patients ask us to understand if they are at risk of becoming ill, and our strategy is not to sow panic. We make sure that we handle the applications with compassion and patience because everyone is afraid for themselves and their family, Calra said.
My advice to people is not to fall victim to false WhatsApp and only rely on information from authentic sources, according to Vivek Nangia, director and head of the Pneumology Department at Fortis Hospital.
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Rajesh Kumar, the internal physician at Paras Gurgaon Hospital agrees, I try to listen to them without interruption. We need to be more open-minded. And anything I tell the patient about the coronavirus, I ask him to share with his friends and family.
Colombia Asia Hospital in Gaziabad receives about 10 calls per hour. Gyan Bharti, a respirologist at the hospital, mentioned some of the most frequently asked questions – Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating IDVOC-19? Are there any medications or therapies that can prevent or cure? Is there a vaccine or a treatment? Hydroxychloroquine should be taken empirically.
The hospital has started screening the conversations. Originally, medical staff answered all questions, but now some are handled by the customer service department, which is responsible for answering irrelevant questions, Bharti said. Does the virus kill the alcohol? Do we have to live in a closed space with a higher temperature? Is tea a cure for coronavirus? These are just a few examples of show-offs.
There are also questions about spiritual well-being after the appearance of the coronavirus and the subsequent blockade. Living in isolation or being locked up 24 hours a day with the same group of people also has consequences for many, especially for parents who want to know how to keep their children.
Many are worried about having to talk to their children about the current atmosphere and not, says Samir Parikh, head of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Healthcare. Interestingly, the same patients who previously complained about not having enough time for their family and a bad work-life balance are now stressed because they are stuck at home or have problems communicating with children, he added.