The year 2020 has not begun well. The world is going through a major crisis. Globalization has halted and countries are under lockdown. Thousands of people have died, lakhs of people are infected, and crores are locked in their homes. The culprit – COVID-19. It is a disease caused by the novel coronavirus, which has resulted in a global pandemic with no vaccines or treatments as of March 2020.

How To Receive Free COVID-19 Consultation Online - Acko

People have relied on Social Distancing (staying away from socializing) to reduce the speed at which the virus can spread and ‘flatten the curve’. Amidst all this, there is a lot of anxiety. In such a situation, a free COVID-19 online consultation can prove beneficial to reduce such anxiety and help to make decisions. Read ahead to know more about COVID-19 and online consultation.

Understanding Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19):

COVID-19 is an infectious disease. It spreads rapidly from one person to another. Coming in contact with droplets (caused by coughing/sneezing) of an infected person can prove dangerous. Elders with medical issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, cancer, and respiratory problems are more prone to serious illness because of the virus. People across ages need to beware. Therefore, Social Distancing becomes a shield to stay away from the virus.

Common symptoms associated with COVID-19:

  • Fever.
  • Tiredness.
  • Dry Cough.
  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Sore throat.
  • Aches and pains.

Ways to prevent COVID-19:

  • Social Distancing.
  • Maintaining one-meter distance from those who cough/sneeze.
  • Regular washing of hands.
  • Refrain from touching your face.
  • Avoid smoking.

Note that the above section is just an overview and meant to spread awareness. You can visit the World Health Organization’s (WHO) official website for detailed information.

Also, read: All about Novel Coronavirus and COVID-19

Online Consultation for COVID-19:

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to those related to seasonal flu. Therefore, it becomes difficult for people to distinguish between them. It is believed that people who have travelled to certain countries in the recent past are susceptible to the disease. Those who have or might come in contact with the infected people are also at risk.

Amidst the pandemic, testing kits are not widely available. Therefore, people have a lot of unanswered questions which cause unnecessary anxiety. To reduce this anxiety and help people find answers to their questions regarding COVID-19, Acko General Insurance has come up with a COVID-19 Symptom Checker.

The checker is a free online risk-assessment tool curated by doctors. The tool is based on WHO protocols and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare guidelines. People can utilize this tool to consult a doctor from their home and receive appropriate medical advice.

How Does it Work?

The COVID-19 Symptom Checker is powered by Artificial Intelligence. It is a do-it-yourself tool. You have to answer basic questions and share information concerning certain symptoms and travel history. Based on the algorithm the test will show results – low risk, moderate risk, and high risk. Telephonic consultation with a doctor is arranged based on the severity of the results to help you understand the next steps. Here’s how the Symptom Checker works.

Steps for Online Consultation:

  • Step 1 – Visit the Symptom Checker section on Acko’s website by clicking here.
  • Step 2 – Click on ‘Check Symptoms’.
  • Step 3 – Answer basic questions.
  • Step 4 – Understand your risk level.
  • Step 5 – Speak with a Doctor.

Who Should Use the Symptom Checker?

The COVID-19 Symptom Checker can be used by anyone. It is easy to operate and simple to understand. Those who are feeling anxious regarding the disease can use the tool to know more about the symptoms. They will instantly understand if it is a cause for concern or just a by-product of the negativity that is surrounding everyone.

Note that the tool is meant for informational purposes. You can use the tool to make an informed choice and take measures accordingly. You can use the Symptom Checker without any cost – it is free to use.

Also, read: How to Cope with Stress During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and Health Insurance:

Health insurance is a product that protects your finances in case you are hospitalized or face other medical emergencies. You have to pay a premium to purchase a health insurance policy. You can purchase health insurance online as well. On paying the premium online, you will receive your Policy Document, which is like a receipt as well as a contract. The terms and conditions of the policy are mentioned in detail in the respective policy’s Policy Wordings.

Whether your insurance policy covers COVID-19 will depend upon its terms and conditions. Some policies might cover expenses related to hospitalization while some might not cover it considering the disease is declared as a pandemic. To know whether your health insurance policy covers COVID-19 or not, you can call your insurance company or email them and clear your doubts.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here’s a list of some of the frequently asked questions about the disease, COVID-19 online consultation and health insurance.

Will I have to pay money to use the COVID-19 online consultation tool?

No, you do not have to pay money to use the tool. It is available free of cost.

What sort of questions will I be asked during the online assessment?

The questionnaire starts with basic questions such as age and gender, and then moves on to specific questions like – did you visit a foreign country in the past three months? Please answer the questions honestly.

What happens after I answer all the questions?

After you have answered all the questions, the tool will classify you as Low Risk, Moderate Risk, or High Risk. You can then decide if you want to speak to a doctor.

How much time does it take to answer all questions?

You can answer all questions within a minute. It is not a time-consuming process at all.

Can I access the Symptom Checker on my mobile phone?

Yes, the Symptom Checker can be accessed from the mobile phone or other similar devices as well.

Will my existing health insurance policy cover my hospital expenses related to COVID-19?

You will have to speak with your insurance company to understand if they will cover the hospital expenses related to COVID-19. You can also ask about the extent of the coverage.

I am not a senior citizen, should I worry about COVID-19?

Even though you are not a senior citizen, you can be affected by COVID-19. Therefore, everyone must take precautionary measures.

What is Social Distancing?

Social Distancing is the act of physical distancing undertaken to stop the spread of a contagious disease. It reduces the number of times people can come in contact with each other.

I accidentally answered some of the questions incorrectly. Can I use the Symptom Checker again?

Yes, you can use the Symptom Checker again. Make sure to answer all questions correctly and honestly.

Where can I get more information about COVID-19?

Beware of fake news and information from unauthorized sources. For detailed information about COVID-19, you can visit the World Health Organization’s (WHO) official website.

How can I get more information about COVID-19 in India?

You can get detailed information about COVID-19 in India by accessing the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s website. Their website has a more detailed Frequently Asked Questions section dedicated to COVID-19.

References:

  • Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
  • Website: Ministry of Health & Family Welfare – Department of Health & Family Welfare: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/

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