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Coronavirus in India: How do I check if I have been infected?

Coronavirus news: Many of the signs such as fever, cough, difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath are symptomatic of the common flu. What's worse is that milder cases even resemble the flu

Anwesha Madhukalya | March 4, 2020 | Updated 14:18 IST
Coronavirus in India: How do I check if I have been infected?
Coronavirus news: Few labs to get the samples checked in India

As panic spreads as fast as the coronavirus in the country, the government has urged people to follow basic precautionary measures. Even the Prime Minister took to Twitter to quell the rising panic. PM Modi said that he has extensively reviewed the preparedness of the country to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

However, while the symptoms of coronavirus can be found with every news report and a generic Google search, how can you find out if you have been infected?

If you believe that you are demonstrating some of the symptoms of coronavirus, a quick visit to the nearby doctor would not necessarily lead to a confirmed diagnosis. Many of the signs such as fever, cough, difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath are symptomatic of the common flu. What's worse is that milder cases even resemble the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms can manifest as early as two days or might take 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Also read: Coronavirus Live Updates: Confirmed cases rise to 28; Delhi, Agra, Kerala, Telangana in grip

REACH OUT TO HEALTH OFFICIALS

In case you exhibit some or all of these symptoms as well as gastrointestinal problems, then getting in touch with a government official would be advisable. The Ministry of Health has released details on how to get in touch with a health official. You can dial 011-23978046 for the 24X7 control room or email to ncov2019@gmail.com.

Meanwhile, you must self-quarantine yourself, which means that you should not step out of your home for at least 28 days. You must put a mask, and inform the designated local health official/district CMO/DSO by telephone. Health officials will monitor you for 28 days since the exposure through home visits or through telephone.

Also read: Big film releases may be deferred due to coronavirus outbreak

FEW TEST CENTRES

When it comes to identifying coronavirus victims, there are only a few government-designated places that can get you tested. Besides the National Institute of Virology in Pune, the government has identified National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Delhi, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)'s laboratories at Alappuzha, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai that can test samples for coronavirus. The ministry has stated that there are 15 other laboratories under Indian Council of Medical Research's Viral Research and Diagnostics Laboratories network that can test samples for coronavirus. However, the ministry has not revealed the locations. The health ministry has said that 19 more labs would be operational to test such samples. CM Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday that a coronavirus testing lab will be set up at Lady Hardinge Hospital and also in LNJP Hospital if necessary.

The government is currently taking stock of the situation. Travellers from 12 countries including China, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Nepal, Indonesia, Iran and Italy were being screened at airports. However, the Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said at a meeting on Wednesday that from hereon all international flight passengers would be screened. There are screening provisions at 21 airports, 12 major seaports and 65 minor seaports and land crossings particularly bordering Nepal. He also said that so far, 5,89,000 people have been screened at airports, over 10 lakh screened at borders with Nepal and around 27,000 were currently under community surveillance.

During the meeting, the minister said that that the total confirmed cases in India has surged to 28, including 17 Italian tourists.

Also read: Coronavirus: How UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat are dealing with virus scare

Also read: Coronavirus update: 15 Italian tourists in India test positive for COVID-19

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