THERE are now 36,074 laboratory confirmed Covid-19 cases in Zambia since March 2020 and the reality is that some cases will have to be managed outside of health facilities.
In the wake of the second wave of infections we have seen several recommendations being made related to managing Covid-19 symptoms.
The worry is that some advice may not be medically sound and may instead cause more harm.
It is in this vein that we wish to commend the Republican President for using his social media platform to not only caution citizens but to also offer support and tips to the public affected by the coronavirus.
“I expect the Ministry of Health as lead ministry, Ministry of Local Government, and the Ministry of Home Affairs, to ensure bars, taverns and nightclub owners and patrons strictly observe the opening days and hours, and the public health regulations, guidelines and certifications,” President Lungu shared.
“Conversely, I expect the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education to ensure schools, colleges, and universities adhere strictly to public health regulations, guidelines, and certification when they open.
“All relevant authorities, including parents and guardians must contribute to the protection of pupils and students.
“I am also urging frontline workers, in charge of testing to ensure they make available contacts that people can use to call them when they feel unwell.
“I am aware that sometimes test results are made available when some people have already recovered but may have infected other people. Therefore, we need to expedite the availing of results to our citizens.
“Let me commend all Frontline workers for their courage and resilience when looking after Covid-19 patients. These are Men and Women of the Year 2020 because without them thousands of lives would be in danger.
“Lastly I ask the public to note that home -based care solutions such as “steaming”, using eucalyptus leaves, consuming vitamin C, ginger, garlic, honey and cinnamon concoctions are some of the tested remedies that health experts are recommending for use.
“All of us are either affected, infected or even re-infected,” he concluded.
It is becoming increasingly common for a person to test positive but not exhibit symptoms of Covid-19. These people often have to isolate in shared spaces for a period of 14-days or until thy test negative.
Those awaiting Covid-19 test results must also endeavour to self-isolate – not only to prevent infecting others but to also maintain their health.
Covid-19 spreads between people who are in close contact (within about two metres) through respiratory droplets, created when someone talks, coughs or sneezes. Staying away from others helps stop the spread of Covid-19 but in a time that may prove difficult.
The Centre for Disease Control recommends that if possible, have the person who is sick use a separate bedroom and bathroom.
Do not share dishes, cups/glasses, silverware, towels, bedding, or electronics (like a cell phone) with the person who is sick.
If possible, have the person who is sick stay in their own “sick room” or area and away from others. Try to stay at least two metres away from the sick person.
However, if you have to share space, make sure the room has good air flow by keeping a window or door open to increase air circulation.
Improving ventilation helps remove respiratory droplets from the air.
Avoid having visitors. Avoid having any unnecessary visitors, especially visits by people who are at higher risk for severe illness.
The caregiver, when possible, should not be someone who is at higher risk for severe illness from Covid-19.
The person who is sick should wear a mask when they are around other people at home and out (including before they enter a doctor’s office).
The mask helps prevent a person who is sick from spreading the virus to others. It keeps respiratory droplets contained and from reaching other people.
Sadly, there have been cases where the condition of a Covid-19 positive person deteriorates very quickly. It is important to look out for a raised temperature, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing or even signs of confusion by the patient – this requires urgent medical attention.
In the fight against Covid-19 ans as we adapt to a New Normal we must learn to care for those being trated for or recovering from Covid-19.