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COVID-19: Doctor explains ‘6 Minute Walk’ for testing if a person needs medical attention

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Jammu: Head of Medicine at Government Medical College & Hospital, Dr Vijay Kundal said that the age old adage “prevention is better than cure” has the greatest relevance to Covid-19 infection as there is no better protection against it than to adopt Covid appropriate behaviour.

The appropriate behaviour, he explained, includes wearing a mask, frequent hand sanitisation and keeping social distance and avoiding crowded places.

The doctor reiterated the government’s instructions of going out only if necessary, self-hygiene, wearing a mask and avoiding crowds. He also requested the people to ‘teach social distancing to others around. “Timely vaccination is another major defence against the virus,” he added.

 So what if one is already infected, To this, the doctor said, ‘Still there is no need to panic as most of the Covid cases fall under the mild category who recover easily. Such people develop symptoms like cough and cold’. They should immediately isolate themselves and eat healthy food, he advised.

Elaborating further, Dr Kundal said that Covid patients without any comorbidity recover easily in most of cases. “In any case,” he reminds, “if one’s oxygen saturation level falls below 94 percent, the patient, whether comorbid or not, should immediately consult a doctor.”

“The Head of Department warned against self-medication, use of anticoagulants and steroids without a doctor’s prescription and said the Steroids are double-edged swords. On one hand, they help Covid patients, and on the other, they may weaken one’s immunity,” said Dr Kundal.

Dr Kundal suggested taking the six-minute walk test, a rudimentary exercise to judge if one needs medical help or not. “In the test, the subject walks for six minutes, and if his oxygen saturation level falls, either by three per cent or below 94, it is time to consult a doctor. Such patients must lie in a prone position to restore oxygen saturation quickly,” he advised.

In prone-position, the patient is made to lie facing down, with arms bent comfortably at the elbow and positioned forward.

In any case, if Covid symptoms persist even after four to five days, one must immediately seek medical help. “Please do not delay hospitalization.  Many of Covid deaths are due to delay in reporting by the patients,” informs Dr Kundal.

The public is informed that all Covid-related queries and doubts can be cleared on helpline number 0191 2571616. The public can also call the Divisional Control Room at 0191-2520982, 2549676, 2674444, 2674115, 2674908.

Moreover, J&K Government has started a live phone-in health programme on the Gulistan channel which is aired twice daily- from 8:30 am to 9 am and 8:30 pm to 9 pm and can be reached through the Divisional Control Room numbers.

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