Coronavirus cases in India have spiked to 6,771 with death toll rising to 228 at the time of writing. Various medical agencies and government bodies have been educating people on the significance of social distancing to defeat the virus. However, there are several other common questions, the answers of which people want to know.
In order to give a comprehensive picture and clear common doubts of citizens, Indian Council of Medical Research has already released FAQs on COVID 19. One of the most common questions that people have been asking is how prone are people to getting infected with coronavirus if they suffer from heart disease, hypertension or diabetes.
ICMR has mentioned in their FAQs that the risk of getting infected for people who are suffering from the aforementioned conditions is not more than those who are not suffering from these conditions. However, the severity could be more for people who already have these conditions which means that the symptoms might be more severe in their case compared to those who do not suffer from the above mentioned conditions.
ICMR has also mentioned the precautions that people suffering from such condition should take. In their note, ICMR states that prescribed medicines should not be skipped even in the case of mild symptoms. The body of medical research clearly states that patients of heart condition or any condition mentioned above should not stop taking medicines unless they are advised by the doctors to do so.
Are BP medications increasing the severity of COVID-19?
There have been concerns among the general public about the BP medications increasing the intensity of the virus in people who are taking it. However in their FAQs document the top medical research body of the country stated that there are no evidence that either ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers increase the severity of the virus symptoms. ICMR further says that as these medicines are highly effective in supporting heart function and controlling blood pressure, it is not suggested to discontinue unless advised by the doctor.
Dietary and Physical activity suggestions
According to ICMR, there are certain habits that people can give up on in order to be less susceptible to novel coronavirus. Smoking and alcohol consumption is not advised as it can weaken the lungs and therefore increase the severity of the symptoms. Further, people should keep their blood pressure and blood sugar levels under control. Doing some sort of physical activity is very important. ICMR however does mention that people should follow the guidelines for maintaining social distancing. Another doubt that was taken cognizance of by the council was non-vegetarian diet. ICMR has clearly mentioned that people can continue their vegetarian diet. However, increasing the protein and fiber content in the diet is highly advisable which can be done by eating vegetables and fruits.
Social Distancing and Hand Wash
ICMR has repeatedly mentioned the importance of washing hands and social distancing and they have done the same in the FAQs released as well. Non-essential travels and use of public transports are other factors that should be avoided.