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COVID-19: When should you get hospitalised? Health Ministry lists signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms which require immediate medical attention include difficulty in breathing, dip in oxygen saturation (SpO2 < 94% on room air), persistent pain/pressure in the chest or mental confusion.

May 04, 2021 / 02:47 PM IST
AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria

AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria


The Health Ministry on May 3 listed out signs and symptoms to look out for to get COVID positive patients hospitalised. The ministry said dipping level of oxygen saturation and excessive fatigue or chest pain may require immediate hospitalisation.

“Falling oxygen saturation (below 93), excessive fatigue or chest pain are warning signs indicating that a patient in home isolation may need hospitalisation. Thus, such patients should stay in touch with a doctor and high-risk group people having comorbidities also need to take special care,” news agency PTI quoted the director of All India Institute of Medical Science (Aiims) Dr Randeep Guleria as saying.

In a series of tweets, the ministry explained symptoms in case of Moderate and Severe disease.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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On April 28, the Health Ministry revised guidelines for home isolation of mild/asymptomatic COVID-19 cases explaining the instructions to be followed by the patient and the caregiver.

It further listed out signs and symptoms which require immediate medical attention including difficulty in breathing, dip in oxygen saturation (SpO2 < 94% on room air), persistent pain/pressure in the chest or mental confusion or inability to arouse. Click here to read more.

The comments from the ministry come at a time when hospitals across the country are facing a shortage of oxygen and ICU beds as COVID cases are spiking.

Moneycontrol News
first published: May 4, 2021 02:47 pm

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