Got COVID-19 and isolating at home? Here’s what your first-aid kit should contain


As India battles rising coronavirus infections — the country logged a whopping 1,94,720 cases on 12 January — it’s time to upgrade our medical supplies and tailor our needs to the current times

Got COVID-19 and isolating at home? Here’s what your first-aid kit should contain

A man walks past a wall mural depicting a health worker to spread awareness about the coronavirus in Mumbai. AFP

India is in the grips of a third COVID-19 wave with daily infections soaring.

The Omicron variant, first detected in South Africa, is also adding fuel to the fire, leading to a rapid spread of the virus.

On Wednesday, the daily COVID-19 tally of the country was at 1,94,720 and the death toll was 442.

Looking at the caseload and the hospitalisations, which has been relatively lower this wave, experts have opined that the Omicron variant infections have shown milder symptoms – cough, fatigue, congestion and runny nose.

In such cases, it’s better to be prepared upgrade our basic first-aid kit to include items that can come in handy in emergency situations related to the virus.

For adults

One must keep in mind that the first-aid kit will be a bit different for elders and children.

First off, all homes should have a sufficient amount of three-ply masks, which can block out smaller aerosols.

Next comes, hand sanitiser. Time and again, experts have said that better hand hygiene will help in keeping the infection at bay. Washing hands or using sanitiser from time to time is an effective tool in fighting the virus or arresting its spread in the house.

Keep an oximeter in the house. If a family member tests positive for COVID-19, keep tabs on their oxygen levels as it is a known fact that the virus affects the respiratory tract and lungs of a patient.

A steamer is also handy in the fight against COVID-19. Breathing in steam could help in opening a nasal blockage, which is a noted symptom of the Omicron variant.

One of the most vital medicines in the fight against COVID is Vitamin C. Vitamin C provides protection against immune system deficiencies and can boost our immunities and hence, one must have these tablets available at home.

Multiple health agencies across the world have said that people must keep paracetamol at home, as it helps in relieving symptoms associated with COVID-19. Since some people infected with COVID-19 experience fever, body aches and headaches, this drug has been prescribed to relieve those symptoms.

Even if you’re not feeling feverish, it’s a good idea to track your temperature during an illness, so you have a good read on your body. You also need a thermometer in case your temperature spikes and you need to report it to a doctor.

While zinc lozenges won’t treat symptoms, studies show that if you start popping them at the first sign of cold or flu symptoms, they can cut the length of your illness by up to 40 percent.

For children

While some items like masks and hand sanitiser is universal, the treatment for children afflicted with COVID-19 is a bit different. Hence, the first-aid box for children is slightly different.

For those who have children at home, multivitamins such as B vitamin, vitamin D, calcium and iron is important to boost their immunity.

Zinc helps the immune system fight off bacteria and viruses and children can be administered it in the syrup form.

The ministry of health has stated that children suffering from mild symptoms of the virus should be given 10-15mg/kg/dose of paracetamol.

Moreover, throat soothing agents and warm saline gargles is recommended for older children. It added that no other COVID-19 specific medication is needed.

With inputs from agencies

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