1. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are
  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue

Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include:

  • Loss of taste or smell,
  • Nasal congestion,
  • Conjunctivitis (also known as red eyes)
  • Sore throat,
  • Headache,
  • Muscle or joint pain,
  • Different types of skin rash,
  • Nausea or vomiting,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Chills or dizziness

Symptoms of severe COVID‐19 disease include:

  • Shortness of breath,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Confusion,
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest,
  • High temperature (above 38 °C).

Other less common symptoms are:

  • Irritability,
  • Confusion,
  • Reduced consciousness (sometimes associated with seizures),
  • Anxiety,
  • Depression,
  • Sleep disorders,
  • More severe and rare neurological complications such as strokes, brain inflammation, delirium and nerve damage.

People of all ages who experience fever and/or cough associated with difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, or loss of speech or movement should seek medical care immediately. If possible, call your health care provider, hotline or health facility first, so you can be directed to the right

2. How long does it take to develop symptoms?
The time from exposure to COVID-19 to the moment when symptoms begin is, on average, 5-6 days and can range from 1-14 days. This is why people who have been exposed to the virus are advised to remain at home and stay away from others, for 14 days, in order to prevent the spread of the virus, especially where testing is not easily available.
3. What happens to people who get COVID-19?
Among those who develop symptoms, most (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing hospital treatment. About 15% become seriously ill and require oxygen and 5% become critically ill and need intensive care.

Complications leading to death may include respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis and septic shock, thromboembolism, and/or multiorgan failure, including injury of the heart, liver or kidneys.

In rare situations, children can develop a severe inflammatory syndrome a few weeks after infection.
4. How can we protect others and ourselves if we don't know who is infected?
Stay safe by taking some simple precautions, such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, especially when distancing cannot be maintained, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds and close contact, regularly cleaning your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue. Check local advice where you live and work. Do it all!
5. I want to find out if I had COVID-19 in the past, what test could I take?
Antibody tests can tell us whether someone has had an infection in the past, even if they have not had symptoms. Also known as serological tests and usually done on a blood sample, these tests detect antibodies produced in response to an infection. In most people, antibodies start to develop after days to weeks and can indicate if a person has had past infection. Antibody tests cannot be used to diagnose COVID-19 in the early stages of infection or disease but can indicate whether or not someone has had the disease in the past.
6. Can adolescents catch COVID-19?
Yes. All age groups can catch COVID-19.

While we are still learning about how COVID-19 affects people, so far, data suggests that children under the age of 18 years have few deaths compared to other age groups and usually mild disease. However, cases of critical illness have been reported. As with adults, pre-existing medical problems like high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, asthma, diabetes, obesity, cancer and neurological and developmental conditions are risk factors for severe disease and intensive care admission in children.
7. What is the difference between Isolation and Quarantine?
Both isolation and quarantine are methods of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Quarantine is used for anyone who is a contact of someone infected with the SARS-Covid virus, which causes COVID-19, whether the infected person has symptoms or not. Quarantine means that you remain separated from others because you have been exposed to the virus and you may be infected and can take place in a designated facility or at home. For COVID-19, this means staying in the facility or at home for 14 days.

Isolation is used for people with COVID-19 symptoms or who have tested positive for the virus. Being in isolation means being separated from other people, ideally in a medically facility where you can receive clinical care. If isolation in a medical facility is not possible and you are not in a high risk group of developing severe disease, isolation can take place at home. If you have symptoms, you should remain in isolation for at least 10 days plus an additional 3 days without symptoms. If you are infected and do not develop symptoms, you should remain in isolation for 10 days from the time you test positive.
8. Registration process?
As the government of India launches COVID19 vaccination drive for all citizens above 18 years of age, here's all you need to know about the registration process.

9. Can someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 be cared for at home?
People with no symptoms should be able to stay at home, if adequately isolated from others, but this should be confirmed by a doctor. Those with mild or moderate disease can be considered for home care if they are under the age of 60, do not smoke, are not obese, and do not have other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease, cancer, chronic kidney disease, immunosuppression.

A health worker will assess risk factors along with the person’s symptoms, medical history and ability for the family to manage the care. Household members need to limit shared spaces, practice the recommended hygiene and know how to recognize and respond to signs of worsening health.

A trained health worker will need to assess whether the home in question is suitable for the isolation and care of a COVID-19 patient, and proper infection prevention control measures are put in place. Trained health workers are also important to support the patient and family in the home, or by phone, telemedicine, or outreach teams.
10. Should we wear a mask at home?
Any person who has symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should wear a medical mask, as long as they can tolerate it. The person should be isolated, and medical advice sought as soon as they start to feel unwell, even if symptoms are mild. Family members/caregivers who come within 1 metre of the sick personat home should also wear a mask.
11. What is the most critical public health message according to unicef india & who india?
We know you have been actively sharing information and resources and doing what you can to help those in need. Whether it is related to supply of oxygen or critical healthcare facilities.

However, during these difficult times, there are 4 MISSION CRITICAL MESSAGES that continue to be the strongest pillar in our fight against Covid-19.

The 4 core messages that need amplification immediately (as vetted by UNICEF India & WHO India) are:
  • If you need to step out, wear a mask properly
  • If you show any symptoms, isolate immediately
  • Don’t panic - most cases of COVID can be treated at home
  • Register for the vaccination, Wait For Your Turn


Because these are the only things that can control the spread of the disease and make sure our health systems are not overwhelmed in the long term.

It is the only sustained way we can fight against this virus and bring it under control. It’s the only way we can stop this cycle of loss and helplessness.


If you need to step out, wear a mask properly
  • Always ensure snug fit and cover your nose, mouth and chin
  • Double mask yourself, if you need to visit the hospital or crowded areas
  • Even at home, wash your hands regularly and wear a mask when necessary - like when you have to take a delivery or have to meet an outsider
If you show any symptoms, isolate immediately
  • Don’t wait for the test results, isolate immediately to avoid anyone else getting infected
  • Be aware of the symptoms - it’s better to be cautious than put your family at risk.
  • Cannot isolate in a separate room at home? Make sure you maintain physical distance and wear a mask at all times

Symptoms to look out for according to WHO The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue

Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include:
  • Loss of taste or smell,
  • Nasal congestion,
  • Conjunctivitis (also known as red eyes)
  • Sore throat,
  • Headache,
  • Muscle or joint pain,
  • Different types of skin rash,
  • Nausea or vomiting,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Chills or dizziness.
Don’t panic - most cases of COVID can be treated at home
  • Do not self-medicate, Consult doctors for any medication
  • 85% cases of COVID can be treated at home - don’t panic and only go to the hospital if it is absolutely required

Advisory from UNICEF India:
  • Check your oxygen levels every 6 hours or more frequently if your breaths are too fast. Check it once and then again after a six-minute walk.
  • Seek emergency care if oxygen level on the oximeter shows less than 94%
  • Monitor your temperature every 6 hours. Do it more frequently if you have a fever. Seek emergency care if fever of more than 101F (38C) persists for 3 days

Seek emergency medical care in any of these cases:
  • Shortness of breath worsens
  • Lips or face turn blue-ish
  • Feeling of disorientation increases
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Slurred speech / seizures
  • Unable to wake up or stay awake
Register for the vaccination, wait for your turn
  • You can only get access to the vaccine by registering for it online via the Co-WIN portal or Aarogya Setu App. Register on Co-WIN and wait for your turn
  • Don’t go to a vaccine center and try for a walk-in appointment


As you know, the fight against Covid-19 will be on-going and it will take time to truly bring this crisis to an end. It will take every effort, big and small, from each one of us to reach that moment. The above messages are the first milestone in our communication program and over the next few days and weeks, we will share more information, resources and messages from UNICEF India and WHO India, as the situation evolves.