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Coronavirus | ICMR publishes FAQs for patients with hypertension, diabetes and heart disease


Drugs to control cholesterol (statins) should be continued, according to the ICMR.

Are patients with heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure at increased risk for coronavirus infection?

No, people with high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease are no more likely to get the infection than anyone else.

Among people with the above diseases, is there an increased risk of serious illness or complications once infected?

The majority (80%) of people diagnosed with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms of a respiratory infection (fever, sore throat, cough) and make a full recovery. Some people with diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, including heart failure (weak heart), may develop more serious symptoms and complications. Therefore, additional care is advised for these patients.

Are people with diabetes more prone to Covid-19?

In general, you know that people with uncontrolled diabetes are at increased risk of getting all infections. People with diabetes are not at a higher risk of getting the infection, but some people are prone to more serious illness and poorer outcomes once infected. Therefore, eat your diet and exercise (if possible), take your medications regularly, and test your blood sugar frequently to keep your diabetes under control. When diabetic patients become ill, they may require frequent blood sugar monitoring and medication adjustment, including insulin, frequent small meals, and adequate fluids.

Some tips for people with diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease:

Take your medication regularly – It is very important

Make sure you take all prescribed medications regularly as before, even if you have mild symptoms. Do not stop any medication unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Keep taking your blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease medications in case you can’t see your doctor. Medicines to control cholesterol (statins) should be continued.

What about reports of BP drugs increasing the severity of COVID-19?

After reviewing the available information, the consensus of various scientific societies and an expert group of cardiologists is that there is currently no evidence that the two groups of drugs – ACE inhibitors (for example, ramipril, enalapril, etc.) and angiotensin receptor inhibitors (ARBs) (eg losartan, telmisartan, etc.) increase the sensitivity or severity of COVID-19. These drugs are very effective for heart failure by supporting your heart function and controlling high blood pressure. It may be harmful to stop these medicines on your own. It can make your heart condition worse.

What can I take if I have pain or fever?

Certain types of pain relievers (called NSAIDs) like ibuprofen make COVID-19 worse. These drugs are known to be harmful to patients with heart failure and may increase the risk of kidney damage. Avoid NSAIDs or take them only when prescribed by your doctor. Paracetamol is one of the safest pain relievers to use when needed.

Control blood pressure (BP), blood sugar and exercise regularly

It is also important to control your risk factor levels – Avoid smoking and alcohol, control your BP and blood sugar, and have some form of regular physical activity (However, please modify your outdoor activities according to the social norms). distancing.). Follow the diet and salt restriction as advised. If you are not a vegetarian, you can continue to be. It is advisable to increase the fiber and protein content of the diet and to add more vegetables and fruits to the diet.

What should I do if I have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19?

  • a. If you have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, call your doctor and seek advice over the phone.
  • b. Contact nearby COVID-19 testing labs and arrange testing.
  • vs. While awaiting test results, stay home and avoid close contact with family members, maintain hand hygiene, and properly wear a medical mask.
  • D. If you test positive for COVID-19, self-isolate at home according to guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India (RevisedHomeIsolationGuidelines.pdf (
  • e. If your symptoms worsen, contact your doctor for further advice.

What to do to avoid COVID19?

Covid-19 is spread by coughing and sneezing, by so-called droplets (tiny amount of saliva or other secretions expressed by coughing / sneezing or even after a warm laugh) and by touching. When you touch an object containing virus particles, the virus can get into your hands, and when you touch your face, you can get infected. Viral particles can persist for up to 3 days and therefore it is important to maintain the hygiene of your environment. Wash rooms, tables and other surfaces with floor cleaners or even a simple soapy solution and sanitize your hands with hand sanitizers or by washing when you touch unfamiliar or suspicious surfaces.

What are the important steps you can take to avoid getting or spreading an infection

1. Wear a mask – most important for the protection of healthy people and to prevent transmission.

  • a. Wear a medical mask in crowded areas and in poorly ventilated rooms. Make it a routine part of other people’s presence
  • b. The mask should cover your nose, mouth and chin
  • vs. Avoid touching the mask frequently
  • D. Maintain a physical distance of at least 1 meter even when wearing a mask
  • e. Wear a mask if a visitor comes to your home that is not part of your household
  • F. Clean your hands before and after using a mask and before touching it when it is still in use
  • g. Change the mask if it is soiled or wet, and dispose of it properly in a trash can

2. Social distancing

  • a. Avoid contact with anyone who is showing symptoms of possible COVID-19 – anyone with a cold, cough, or fever.
  • b. Avoid non-essential travel and the use of public transportation.
  • vs. Avoid public places, crowds, and large family gatherings. Keep in touch with your friends and relatives using phone, internet and social media.
  • D. Avoid routine visits to hospitals / labs for minor issues, contact HF hospital or clinic by phone or helpline if possible. If you regularly check the INR and adjust the anticoagulant drugs, please contact the doctor by phone if possible and try to
  • avoid a hospital as much as possible.

3. Hand hygiene

  • a. Avoid handshakes and touching the face with the hands
  • b. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water – do this for at least 20-30 seconds and consistently to clean all parts of the hand
  • vs. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also helpful.
  • D. Avoid touching potentially contaminated areas / objects – Public restroom doors, door handles, etc.

Click here to download a pdf version of the FAQS


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