Coronavirus causing the disease COVID-19 has thrown the world into a chaos. There is much confusion regarding the spread and control of disease and also the cost of medical care in case of a coronavirus infection.

Having health insurance for everyone is critical in such uncertain times. A health insurance or Mediclaim policy has many benefits like cashless health insurance but it is essential to be clear about the facts of coronavirus before seeking treatment.

  1. The pandemic causing disease is COVID-19 caused by a new virus which is part of a family called Coronaviruses. Earlier coronaviruses have caused respiratory diseases like severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
  2. COVID-19 symptoms are as follows:
  • Dry Cough
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Aches and Pains
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Sore Throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of Taste or Smell
  • Skin Discoloration on fingers and toes
  • Rashes on Skin
  1. Hygiene habits like regular hand washing and sanitizing along with maintaining a safe distance, whether at home or in public is key to preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19. So, self-quarantine (if exposed to COVID-19 infected people/area/travel or commute), self-isolate (in case of symptoms) and practice social distancing (maintain 1 metre distance from others)
  2. The saying ‘Prevention is Better than Cure’ is appropriate in this outbreak as there is no cure or vaccine for this disease. However, 80% of corona patients recover completely, without needing hospital care. This is only possible if correct prevention methods are followed.
  3. Coronavirus can survive on surfaces like steel, plastic, etc. for up to 72 hours. If you touch infected surfaces and then touch your nose or mouth, you may get infected. Thus, avoid touching anything when outside and wash your hands regularly or use a hand sanitizer.
  4. The incubation period of coronavirus is 1-14 days. Thus, you may exhibit symptoms sometime within two-weeks of exposure. As soon as you exhibit even mild symptoms, you should self-isolate to protect yourself and others.
  5. You are more likely to get infected in a crowd because the probability of coming in contact with an infected person is high. AVOID ALL CROWDED SPACES like markets, airports, stations etc.
  6. Wearing a mask can help prevent you from getting infected. COVID-19 can be transmitted via air droplets from infected people when they exhale, speak, cough or sneeze. Wearing an N-95 mask and maintaining a healthy distance can protect you from accidentally inhaling these infected droplets.
  7. Stay at home and avoid going outside unless absolutely necessary. The reason for this is while you might be healthy, you may be a ‘carrier’ of the virus and unknowingly spread it. If you get infected, you may have the resources to get medical attention and recover completely. However, people you infect unknowingly might get severely ill and may not be able to survive it.
  8. Almost all health insurance policies cover medical costs incurred in treatment of COVID-19. Since the coronavirus caused disease is new, there is no waiting period in health insurance policies and almost all comprehensive health insurance plans cover the cost of COVID-19 treatment such as pre and post hospitalization expenses, room rent, alternate treatments etc. Cashless health insurance services are also available to COVID-19 patients.

However, home quarantine or hospital admission without a doctor’s recommendation and any preexisting diseases are not covered.

A health insurance policy in such uncertain times can be a boon and an effective ally in case of a sudden crisis.

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