Know If Your Symptoms Point to Covid-19, And The New Safety Rules To Follow Now
Here are the newest guidelines from the government, WHO, and CDC on Covid-19 prevention, detection, and treatment—from face shield-wearing, gloves and UV lamps, to the new Covid hotlines
The Philippines is now officially the Covid-19 hotspot in Southeast Asia, overtaking Indonesia in terms of total Covid-19 cases. As of August 9, the Philippines has a total of 129,913 cases, with 3,109 new cases and 61 new deaths.
Because of the continuous increase in infections and to heed the call of health workers for tighter restrictions, as the government re-strategizes its Covid-19 plans once again, mega Manila was put back under a two-week modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from August 4 to 18.
With these in mind, everyone should be even more on guard with best practices on how not to spread the dreaded coronavirus. Here are new guidelines from the government, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Covid-19 detection, prevention, and treatment:
The most updated list of Covid-19 symptoms
With anxieties high because of the record number of infections per day, many people are falling into the trap of overthinking and overfearing that everything they feel may be a sign of Covid-19. Covid-19 has indeed proven to be a multi-organ disease that targets more than the respiratory system, which means you should be aware of all the symptoms that my lead to the disease.
According to a helpful interactive graphic published by the New York Times, here are the most common Covid-19 symptoms:
- Loss of taste or smell
- Dry cough
- Congestion or runny nose
- Wet cough
- Tightness in the chest
- Feeling out of breath
- Diarrhea and abdominal pain
- Chills and body aches
Here are the less common or rare symptoms associated with Covid-19:
- Eye discomfort
- Sore throat
- Palpitations and chest pain
- Blisters on toes and fingers
- Severe muscle and joint pain
Take note that unlike flu, which comes and ebbs fast, Covid-19 symptoms may persist for a few days. Here are the following symptoms that may be rare but need urgent care when experienced:
- Inability to wake
- Uncoordinated movement or signs of stroke like facial drooping, numbness, or garbled speech
Covid-19 is also typically mild in children. However, when your child experiences the following, seek emergency care immediately:
- Prolonged fever (5+ days) Too sick to eat or drink
- Pale, patchy, or bluish skin
- Trouble breathing or rapid breaths
- Racing heart or chest pain
- Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, or vomiting
- Decreased urination
Face shields now required
Starting August 15, all public commuters will be required to wear face shields on top of the mandatory face masks. According to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), this is an initiative to further reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19.
The new guidelines will strictly be enforced in all public transportation including buses, trains, ships, planes, and tricycles. Those who refuse to wear one will be denied transport. Full-face shields are required, and goggles will not be considered.
CDC also emphasizes that face shields are not substitutes for face masks. Face shields must always be worn on top of a good cloth face mask.
Currently, face shields retail at 40 to 60 pesos a piece, but many people fear that the new guidelines might again force the price of the commodity to shoot up.
Stop wearing gloves in the supermarket
You may have encountered people wearing gloves when doing their groceries. But actually, gloves don’t really do anything to protect yourself from the virus since it cannot don’t enter your body through your skin; it enters through inhalation of droplets.
According to the CDC, gloves must be worn when cleaning or disinfecting your home, or when having contact with a sick person’s blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, mucus, vomit, and urine.
Wearing gloves will not necessary protect you outside when you’re touching a shopping cart or an ATM machine if you still use that gloved hand to touch your face or your mask. Instead, make it a habit to refrain from touching any part of your face (including adjusting your face mask or face shield), regularly wash your hands, or disinfect with a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Just like how the general public is advised to use three-layer cloth masks instead of surgical masks, refraining from buying gloves when you don’t need it helps prevent the shoot-up of prices and the lack of supply of these PPE for the frontliners and health workers who really need them.
Be careful with UV lamps
Do UV lamps work in disinfecting surfaces and items? The short answer: yes. Indermeet Kohli, a physicist who studies photomedicine in dermatology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, tells Live Science that UVC lamps are an effective disinfectant. She emphasizes, however, that “responsible, accurate use is critical.”
A key thing to take note of is that there is a right dosage of these UVC so it can kill pathogens. But with the kind of not-so-reliable quality assurance that we have in the wild, home devices being sold cheap in the market now, claiming to disinfect your stuff, might not be actually working.
Another important reminder from CDC is that UV lamps should not be used to disinfect any part of your body. Being exposed to UV radiation can cause skin irritation and damage your eyes, which may lead to more serious illnesses in the future.
If possible, stick to using alcohol-based disinfectants or soap to clean everything that needs to be sanitized. When using UV lamps, make sure to buy only from trusted sources and don’t let the light come into contact with your body.
Knowing where to get treated for Covid-19
One of the issues that have been plaguing many hospitals now amidst the continuous rise of Covid-19 cases is the availability of beds for Covid-19 patients. With many hospitals nearing maximum capacity, there should be a dedicated line to coordinating transfers, referrals, and medical direction between hospitals and Covid-19 facilities.
As a solution, the One Hospital Command Center (OHCC) was launched last week to act as a facilitator for “comprehensive and coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring effective and efficient health facility referral in Metro Manila.” This means that if you or someone you know needs to be treated for Covid-19, you may contact the OHCC so you can be forwarded to the nearest Metro Manila hospital that can accommodate you. If you’re asymptomatic, you mostly likely would be forwarded to an isolation facility instead since hospitals are dedicated for those with mild to severe symptoms.
According to to OHCC Operations Manager Dr. Bernadett Pua Velasco, citizens can contact the OHCC through three ways:
- Download the Pure Force Citizens app
- Call the following hotlines: 02-886-505-00, 0915-777-7777, and 0919-977-3333.
- Scan QR codes available