COVID19 – One-stop guide |Diet|Exercises|Vaccination| Mental Health

It’s 2022 but the menace of COVID continues to haunts us. In India the second wave has hit the country with brutal severity. According to reports the total number of cases in India has crossed 37 lakh, with about a week back 4 lakh cases being reported on a single day. Experts suggest that India may have reached or will reach the peak soon in the coming days. However, there is a drop in the number of daily cases though this could only be a dip that could rise again.

Also, the positivity rate of the second wave is much higher than the first wave. This means that more people are testing positive with the positivity crossing 20% and also 40% in some states. With more people testing positive it is important to understand the protocol and measures to adopt. Which symptoms to watch out for and when to test? When to consider hospitalization? What measures, diet to follow during home quarantine? Is vaccination important?

Experts speak!

There are many questions that need authentic answers. For many such questions here are doctors and health care workers who answer and give their expert guidelines. Dr. Rekha Singh, Medical Superintendent of COVID dedicated hospital Jaipuria Hospital, Jaipur who is now OSD to Health Minister Government of Rajasthan for COVID management shares her views and answers a lot of COVID related queries. We also have Dr. Rasheeda Juzer Dholkawala a neuro-physiotherapist, B.P.T, M.P.T (Neurosciences) who demonstrates breathing exercises and techniques of using an oximeter correctly.

For more such informationon & videos for breathing exercises you can check out Dr. Rasheeda’s Instagram account @curative_physio

After all, there is no denying that the situation is grim. Yet, hope, knowledge and the will to wade off this wave are our best chances at emerging from this phase.

The COVID Time line

So let’s begin from the very beginning. As Dr. Rekha says, ‘Last time during the first wave, patients that came to us in March or April very few of them had complications. Most cases were asymptomatic and the death rate was very less. But this wave is different than the first one. This time they are saying the infection rate is 5 times more than the first one because the patient inflow is too much. This time even patients are aware of what they have to do and not. But this time most of the patients are symptomatic.’

Are you positive?

So what should someone do if they think they have the symptoms of COVID? Dr. Rekha explains, ‘Especially in this wave, even if there is little pain in the throat or there is fever or any symptoms like body ache or gastric issues you must do a RT PCR test and now even within a day or two if the patients have fever they are turning positive. Right now if 10 people test, 5-6 are positive.

So first sign is even if you have the slightest doubt go and get RT PCR done and do not wait. Secondly, if you are positive you can take treatment from the doctor, either on the telephone or as per protocol go to your nearest dispensary for treatment but don’t ignore the symptoms. For hospitalization you need to keep in mind a few things because only then can we save more lives. Most important note your fever every day. And secondly check saturation with the oximeter. There is nothing to worry if saturation is above 95% and the temperature is not rising. If by eating tablets the temperature is under control and saturation is above 95 then too there is nothing to worry. You should continue the treatment given by your doctor.

But if your saturation is less than 95% and starts decreasing do the 6 minute walk test – which is first you check your saturation then walk for 6 minutes and immediately check the saturation again. If post your walk saturation falls 3-4 degree then you should report to the doctor and if for 3-4 days continuously the fever is not under control even after eating tablets then you must report to the doctor and seek for hospital admission if required.’

Watch Dr. Rekha’s video here

All about ‘PRONING’

What is Proning?

Proning is a medically accepted position to improve breathing
comfort and oxygenation. It is extremely beneficial in COVID-19 patients with compromised breathing comfort, especially during home isolation.

Importance of Proning

  • Proning is required only when the patient feels difficulty in breathing and the SpO2 decreases below 94 (less than 94).
  • Regular monitoring of SpO2, along with other signs like temperature, blood pressure and blood sugar, is important during home isolation.
  • Missing out on hypoxia (compromised Oxygen circulation) may lead to worsening of complications.
  • Timely proning and maintaining good ventilation could save many lives.

How to do Proning?

Watch the video below for a video guide.


  • Avoid proning for an hour after meals
  • Maintain proning for only as many times as easily tolerable
  • One may prone for up to 16 hours a day, in multiple cycles, as felt comfortable
  • Pillows may be adjusted slightly to alter pressure areas and for comfort
  • Keep a track of any pressure sores or injuries, especially, around bony prominences

Avoid Proning in conditions like:

  • Proning during Pregnancy
  • Deep venous thrombosis (Treated in less than 48 hours)
  • Major cardiac conditions
  • Unstable spine, femur, or pelvic fractures

All the above information is from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India

Diet plan for COVID patients

There is often confusion around the diet that COVID patients need to follow. Dr. Rekha helps clarify some doubts around it. She says, ‘Eating home-made normal food is fine. Eat seasonal vegetables and not too much fried foods. There are some who keep drinking lemon juice or kada all the time, this is not required. I would suggest a lot of fruits and high protein diet. Egg, paneer, dals, green vegetable but don’t go overboard. Some are spraying things in their nose or going on drinking lemon that is not required. Normal proper healthy diet, drink milk and have a high protein diet. You can drink dal ka pani, soups, fruit juices, more than juices I would suggest you eat the whole fruit, coconut water and if you are a non-veg you can eat non-veg foods too. Just don’t eat foods that are too spicy!’

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

They should in fact, concentrate on consuming foods that build immunity, repair muscles and increase energy levels. Consumption of healthy fats is recommended, such as mustard oil, olive oil, almonds, walnuts etc. Overall a balanced diet with carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins can help. Also intake of minerals, such as zinc and antioxidant vitamins, such as Vitamin C and D are encouraged.

Since many patients go through a loss of smell and taste it is important to eat at regular intervals. Some other common foods to consume include boiled egg whites, haldi milk, multigrain or ragi chapatis, ginger/tulsi/cinnamon/clove/cardamom tea along with green vegetables and fruits.

Post COVID Diet

Again many patients continue to feel fatigue and weakness after their fourteen day quarantine time. In such cases, continue to eat healthy food. Some foods to add to your diet during post COVID are fruits like apples, banana, oranges or even sweet potatoes. Besides, you can continue your intake of a warm glass of water with honey or lime. However, like Dr. Rekha said, do not overdo it!


In India currently the two vaccines that are being administered are Covishield and Covaxin.  Both the vaccines are two-dose.

However, Russian vaccine Sputnik V is now also available on the CoWIN government website. However, for now it has no slots and will be administered in one hospital in Hyderabad.

As Dr. Rekha says, ‘When the vaccination first started it was for the doctors and staff and medical workers and there was some were hesitance. People didn’t show much enthusiasm either. But now since second wave people have noticed that those who have put the vaccine and even if they are getting re-infected their complication rates are much less and mortality is also less. So I would say, more and more people should get themselves vaccinated. And then only can we break the chain and reduce the mortality rate.

Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay

Updates and guidelines

People with comorbidities, like hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease etc. should consult their doctor or inform the vaccinator of any and all medication that you are taking before vaccination. Recent reports in the media suggest that lactating women can take the vaccine. Also, those affected by COVID should wait for 3 months after recovery before taking the vaccination.

The vaccination protocols are updated and guidelines issued by the government on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website: One should check it for the latest updates, as well keep a track of the local and state government guidelines too.

Finally, both the vaccines are affective with very slight differences between the two. Whichever vaccine is available in your nearest health center should be administered as soon as you can.

COVID-19 & Mental Health

Mental health is as important as your physical health. Below are some contacts to help those in need of mental healthcare.

Helpline Numbers

FORTIS STRESS HELPLINE: +91-8376804102 All Days 24*7, Over 15 languages ( Verified )

ICALL ( Operated by TISS ) – 022-25521111 and 9152987821 (10 am to 10 pm: Monday to Saturday ) Website:

NIMHANS HELPLINE – Tollfree number: 080 – 4611 0007

Free telephone counseling hotlines in India (As per the requirement of the individual )

COVID-19 Support INDIA Links


You will be able to find support lines for all kinds of requests on this website :

Become a COVID Volunteer (Chennai)

Fill this form:

COVID-19 essential supplies

Buy Sanitizers

Lifebuoy Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer 500ml

Surgical Masks

Yorgi India Non-Woven Fabric Disposable Surgical Face Mask (Blue, Without Valve, Pack of 100)

N95 Masks

Non-Woven 5 Layered Reusable Washable N95 Mask(Pack Of 10)

Face Shield

Coif Double Protection Plastic Reusable Long Lasting Face Shield

Pulse Oximeter

Aptechdeals Pulse Oximeter Fingertip, O2 Saturation, Pulse Rate (PR) with Digital Display

Plastic Gloves

Disposable Transparent Clear Plastic Cleaning Gloves – 500 Pieces(250 Pairs)

Digital Thermometer

Digital Thermometer With Quick Measurement

Portable Oxygen Concentrator Machine for Home Use,1L-7L

Finally, we would like to say thank you to Dr. Alefiya Kanpurwala MBBS who is pursuing her post-graduation and Nafisa Sidhpurwala a clincial medical student, MD program for helping us and clearing our doubts. A big thank you to Sakina Saraiya who researched all the information in mental health care.

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  1. Hi there to all, the contents present at this site are in fact awesome for people knowledge, well, keep up the good work fellows.

  2. This was really helpful and cleared a lot of doubts!

    1. Glad to hear that 🙂

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