For travel advisories, precautionary measures and other information related to the Covid-19 situation,
please refer to our Covid-19 Information Hub. Click Here



What you should know about COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, it is crucial to have the right information and take the correct precautions and ensure your safety and well-being. Join the fight against the spread of Coronavirus by arming yourself with relevant information, including health guidelines, services available, emergency contact helplines, and more.

COVID-19 Explained

The World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. The symptoms of COVID-19 appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, a runny nose and difficulty in breathing.

How does the disease spread?

It primarily spreads through the respiratory droplets of infected people. If a person touches a surface or object that has been infected by the virus and then touches his own mouth, nose, or eyes, he may get infected.

Who is affected?

While people of all ages can be affected by the disease, people aged 80 and above are at the highest risk of dying due to COVID-19, according to case records analysed by the Disease Control and Prevention Centers in China and South Korea. Victims of the virus with pre-existing medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes have a higher fatality rate than others. Also the rate of fatalities was relatively higher for retirees.

What are the symptoms?

The guidelines from the Union Health Ministry for early recognition of COVID-19 patients are those who come in with Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) who also have a history of foreign travel or close contact with another COVID-19 patient.

As per the guidelines, "COVID-19 may present with mild, moderate, or severe illness; the latter includes severe pneumonia, ARDS [Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome], sepsis and septic shock."

How can it be detected?

The virus can be detected using a RT-PCR test. An RT-PCR or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test is DNA-based and can quickly tell if someone harbours the virus. In India, about 89 government facilities to test for the virus include 52 labs belonging to the Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratories network of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 10 labs under the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and the NIV (List attached as Annexure I). In addition to these few private labs have also been approved recently by ICMR. (List attached as Annexure II).

What is the treatment?

There is no current evidence from randomised controlled trial to recommend any specific treatment for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients. No specific anti-virals are recommended for treatment of those suffering from respiratory ailment due to lack of adequate evidence from medical literature.
Few antiviral & other drugs are being used on under medical supervision. Avoid stocking up on Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) or Chloroquine or Antivirals- these medicines do cause side effects and should not be used inadvertently. (HCQ is being used for people who have been exposed - but not everyone). If everyone keeps 'only one' strip at home,

Can a vaccine be developed for COVID-19?

According to Raman. R. Gangakhedkar, head of the Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases-I (ECD-I), Division of ICMR, there are two ways of going for vaccine preparation — either you look at the sequences of the gene which then may lead to development of antibodies, or you actually have the strain and then you try to develop a vaccine which is always an easier option. He said Indian scientists have managed to successfully isolate the COVID-19 virus and about 11 isolates are available which is a prime requisite for doing any kind of research related to viruses and developing the vaccine.

Internationally, several institutes and pharmaceutical companies are in various stages of developing the vaccine with some set to go on clinical trials soon.

Self-preventive measures

KEY Steps to protect yourself against COVID-19

Guidelines by the World Health Organization specify that one of the ways to reduce the risk of infection is by regularly and thoroughly cleaning one's hands with washing them with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. Regular washing becomes important as the virus tends to be viable from hours to more than a day on different surfaces that are regularly touched with hands.

Hand Hygiene

Follow the proper 6 steps of hand washing. DON'T FREAK OUT if you don't have sanitiser. SOAP AND WATER are enough.

Hand Hygiene
Hand Hygiene
Hand Hygiene

Washing with soap

The grime on our hands contains innumerable viruses and bacteria. Washing with water and soap is a very effective way of removing multiple including viruses & bacteria from our hands.
Viruses such as coronavirus, influenza-causing viruses, Ebola, Zika have their genetic material encased in a layer of fat called the lipid envelope. Soap molecules are pin-shaped with a head that is water-loving (hydrophilic) and a tail that is oil-loving (oleophilic).
Being oleophilic, the tail portion of the molecule tends to have an affinity for and 'competes' with the lipids in the virus envelope. Since the chemical bonds holding the virus together are not very strong, the long oleophilic tail gets inserted into the envelope and tends to have a 'crowbar' effect that breaks the lipid envelope of the virus. The tail also competes with the bond that binds the RNA and the lipid envelop thus dissolving the virus into its components which are then removed by water.

Alcohol-based hand sanitisers

Like soap, the alcohol present in hand sanitisers dissolve the lipid envelope, thus inactivating the virus. In addition, the alcohol also tends to change the shape or denature the mushroom-shaped protein structures that stick out of the lipid envelope. The mushroom-shaped protein structures help the virus to bind to special structures found on human cells and enter the cells. To be effective, the sanitisers should contain at least 60% alcohol.

While a sanitiser can quickly reduce the number of microbes, it does not get rid of all types of germs, and is "not as effective as soap & water when hands are visibly dirty or greasy".

Using a mask

Use of mask by each & everyone has become a fashion. The guidelines about use of facemask by public were already shared with you earlier. The same cane be assessed at

Social distancing

Social distancing
Social distancing

The WHO says that you should maintain at least 1 to 2 metre (about 3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. This is because when someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. "If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease," says the WHO.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Hands can pick up viruses as they come in contact with many surfaces. It can then transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practise respiratory hygiene

Practise respiratory hygiene

Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Discourage Open Spitting

Practise respiratory hygiene

Avoid spitting openly. Learn to swallow. If not, spit in a dustbin, in a commode or wash basin & flush with plenty of water.

Myth Busters

Myths around COVID-19

There have been several myths around the disease, like consuming more garlic, curry leaves or cow's urine would treat or protect one from the disease.

The World Health Organisation has busted such misleading claims. On garlic, WHO said it is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties but there is no evidence that it has prevented people from contracting the COVID19

Here are some other myths
and the WHO's response to them:

Myth 1:

"COVID-19 virus cannot be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates"

From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

Myth 2:

The new coronavirus can be transmitted through mosquito bites.

To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.

Get In Touch


GVK CSMIA 24x7 Helpline Number

022 66851010


For feedbacks & suggestions mail us at

Subscribe to our Newsletter