The centre has added new symptoms of COVID-19 in a document published for use by health professionals as a reference. “Loss of smell and taste” has been added to a list of seven other symptoms in the document “Clinical Management Protocol: COVID-19”.
The other symptoms are fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, expectoration, myalgia, rhinorrhea, sore throat and diarrhoea.
The Health Ministry in the document says direct person-to-person transmission occurs through close contact, mainly through respiratory droplets that are released when the infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
“These droplets may also land on surfaces, where the virus remains viable. Infection can also occur if a person touches an infected surface and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth,” the document says.
Those who are over 60 years are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus. Those with underlying non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiac disease, among others, are also at high risk, the Health Ministry said.
The centre said it is pursing some “investigational therapies”. No vaccine has been developed to fight COVID-19 so far.
“…Use of these drugs is subjected to limited availability in the country as of now. Currently, these drugs should only be used in a defined subgroup of patients,” the centre said. The medicines are remdesivir, which can be taken under emergency; convalescent plasma therapy, tocilizumab and hydroxychloroquine.