Yogasana, pranayama, meditation and intake of chyawanprash are among some of the suggestions given by the Union health ministry in its new management protocol for patients who have recovered from COVID-19.
Calling for a holistic approach for follow up care and well-being of all post-COVID recovered patients, the health ministry said such patients must continue COVID appropriate behaviour by use of mask, hand and respiratory hygiene, physical distancing.
The protocol provides an approach for managing patients who have recovered from COVID-19 for care at home.
However, the procedure is not meant to be seen as preventive or as a curative therapy.
“The recovery period is likely to be longer for patients who suffered from more severe form of the disease and those with pre-existing illness,” it said.
At individual level, the protocol suggested drinking adequate amount of warm water (if not contra-indicated), taking immunity promoting AYUSH medicine prescribed by a qualified practitioner of AYUSH and if health permits then regular household work to be done.
It advised people to resume professional work in a graded manner.
Daily practice of yogasana, pranayama and meditation, as much as health permits or as prescribed, breathing exercises as prescribed by treating physician and daily morning or evening walk at a comfortable pace as tolerated were among other measures.
The protocol also called for self-health monitoring at home of temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar (especially, if diabetic), pulse oximetry etc (if medically advised).
"If there is persistent dry cough/sore throat, do saline gargles and take steam inhalation. The addition of herbs/spices for gargling/steam inhalation. Cough medications, should be taken on advice of medical doctor or qualified practitioner of Ayush. Look for early warning signs like high grade fever, breathlessness, unexplained chest pain, new onset of confusion, focal weakness," it said.
At the level of community, the ministry said recovered individuals should share their positive experiences with friends and relatives using social media, community leaders, opinion leaders, religious leaders for creating awareness, dispelling myths and stigma.
"Take support of community based self-help groups, civil society organizations, and qualified professionals for recovery and rehabilitation process (medical, social, occupational, livelihood). Seek psycho-social support from peers, community health workers, counsellor. If required seek mental health support service," the protocol said.
The ministry also advised recovered patients to participate in group sessions of yoga, meditation etc. while taking all due precautions like physical distancing.
In healthcare facility setting, the ministry advised the first follow-up visit (physical/telephonic) should be within seven days after discharge, preferably at the hospital where he/she underwent treatment.
"Subsequent treatment/follow up visits may be with the nearest qualified allopathic/AYUSH practitioner/medical facility of other systems of medicine.
"Poly-therapy is to be avoided due to potential for unknown drug-drug interaction, which may lead to Serious Adverse Events or Adverse Effects," it said.
The use of chyawanprash in the morning with luke warm water/milk is highly recommended.
Immunity promoting AYUSH medicine like mulethi powder, ayush kwath, Samshamani vati and Ashwagandha powder have also been recommended by the health ministry in its protocol.