The year 2020 has begun on a rather unusual note – a pandemic. As much as all of us would like to forget it as a bad dream, 2020 brought along an uninvited guest in the form of the novel Coronavirus pandemic. Also known as the COVID-19 disease, it first emerged in China’s Wuhan City in Hubei province in the last few days of 2019. In less than 3 months, the disease was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as it spread across the world.
Before you know about the preventive measures and COVID health insurance, take a closer look at what exactly is a coronavirus?
What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a strain of virus transmitted from animals that cause a variety of respiratory health problems in humans, ranging from the common cold to pneumonia. It is the same strain of the virus that had caused Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MARS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in the past.
Currently, the world is experiencing a new strain of coronavirus known as COVID-19 or the coronavirus disease in 2019. Although COVID-19 is believed to be originated from bats or pangolins, there is no proven evidence in support of the same.
Today, over six and half months after the first case was reported, more than 13 million people have been infected with the disease out of which over 580,000 people have died (as of 16 July 2020). India alone accounts for 968,876 COVID-19 cases with 24,915 deaths as per the data released by WHO on 16 July 2020.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
In the last six months of its existence, the COVID-19 has shown a wide range of symptoms in humans. To be precise, coronavirus affects different people differently depending on his/ her immunity. Besides, it has an incubation period of up to 14 days within which the symptoms may begin to appear. Some of the most common symptoms of coronavirus are:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Body ache
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Skin rash or discolouration of toes and fingers
However, if not treated timely or adequately, coronavirus can lead to serious health conditions, including:
- Breathing issues
- Chest pain
- Loss of movement or speed
- Acute respiratory syndrome
- Multiple organ failure
A major section of COVID-19 positive people is asymptomatic. Also, people with mild symptoms can be treated at home. However, if the symptoms do not go away within 10-14 days or get worse, the person should be immediately shifted to a hospital. In the case of hospitalization, your COVID health insurance can support you financially.
How Is Coronavirus Transmitted Between Humans?
The coronavirus can very easily spread from an infected person. No wonder, the entire world is struggling to keep the disease under control. As per health experts, coronavirus can be transmitted from an infected person to a healthy person in the following ways:
- By physically touching an infected person, including shaking hands, hugging, etc.
- Through the air, if the infected virus sneezes, coughs or spits while talking and you are in close proximity
- By touching a surface or object contaminated by an infected person and then touching your face without cleaning your hands
- Through the faecal matter of an infected person (which is less common)
How To Stay Safe from Coronavirus?
Nobody could have predicted the exact trajectory and mayhem caused by the coronavirus. After months of lockdown, social distancing and home quarantine have become a part of our day-to-day lives. Every morning, the world wakes up with the hope of getting some positive news about the end of the pandemic and the availability of vaccines. But even today, no government or scientist can guarantee when the world can be coronavirus-free. Besides, no vaccine or cure for COVID-19 has been found till date.
In such a scenario, the best option to stay safe and away from COVID-19 is to follow all the preventive guidelines and get yourself & your family covered under a COVID health insurance policy. Here are some of the precautions that you can take to stay safe from coronavirus:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Clean your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer or hand rub in the absence of soap and water
- Avoid touching your face
- Maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from other people, especially people who are coughing or sneezing
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Wear a mask or face cover if you move out of your house or meet a stranger
- Cover your nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing. If you use a tissue, then kindly dispose of it off in a closed dustbin
- Practice social distancing and avoid non-essential travel to public places or places with a large number of people
- Clean surfaces that are frequently touched
- Avoid activities that could weaken your lungs, such as smoking
How To Treat Coronavirus at Home?
If you are been tested positive with COVID-19 and are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, you can treat yourself at home. Wondering how? Following are some of the ways to treat coronavirus at home in case of mild symptoms:
- Take suggested over-the-counter medications for pain and fever
- Take multi-vitamin tablets
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Gargle and take a steam in case of cough or cold
- Take proper rest
Don’t forget to isolate yourself from the rest of your family to prevent them from getting infected with the coronavirus.
COVID Health Insurance
In case your health worsens or you develop serious symptoms, then you should immediately get admitted o a hospital. Once hospitalized, you will be taken care of by the doctors who will provide you with the best treatment possible.
However, the treatment of coronavirus in a hospital can get really expensive, given the diverse nature of health conditions it can lead to. If unfortunately, you or any of your family members are required to stay hospitalized for long, it can eat away all of your savings. To eliminate such a situation, you should get yourself and your entire family covered under a COVID health insurance policy.
COVID health insurance is a standard health insurance policy that covers hospitalization expenses incurred on the treatment of coronavirus disease or COVID -19. As per the guidelines of the Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (IRDA) of India, insurance companies in India are offering two types of standard COVID health insurance plans to the public. They are:
- Corona Kavach Plan – It is a type of COVID health insurance policy that covers the treatment cost of coronavirus, comorbid conditions as well as pre-existing diseases. It is an indemnity-based policy that is available as a family floater cover. It covers expenses incurred on in-patient hospitalization, room rent, diagnostic charges, ICU charges, ambulance charges, oxygen & ventilator charges and AYUSH treatment. It also comes with an optional cover of hospital daily cash.
- Corona Rakshak Plan – It is a type of COVID health insurance policy that provides a lump sum benefit in case the insured person is tested positive with COVID-19 and admitted in the hospital for at least 72 hours. This benefit-based policy is available for individuals and can be used to cover the treatment cost for COVID-19, pre-existing diseases and comorbid conditions.
Both Corona Kavach plan and Corona Rakshak plan is available for a sum insured ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh. Moreover, you can choose to buy this COVID health insurance plan for a tenure of 3.5, 6.5 or 9.5 months. However, both these plans come with a waiting period of 15 days.
How to Buy COVID Health Insurance Plans Online?
If you want to buy COVID health insurance policy online for yourself or your entire family, you can visit online insurance providers. You can select coronavirus health insurance and enter the required details while filling the form. Insurance quotes from various health insurers will be available. You can choose the plan that best suits your needs and pay the premium online. The insurance company will issue your COVID health insurance policy once they receive the payment.
In a Nutshell
Coronavirus is a disease that can only be defeated if we all fight collectively. The important point is to take all necessary precautions to avoid getting infected and curb the spread of the disease. In case you do get infected with coronavirus, you should be prepared to tackle it with all means even if that means staying covered under a COVID health insurance policy. Stay home and stay safe!