CoVID Resources / Help for Aspirants staying away from home - ForumIAS

CoVID Resources / Help for Aspirants staying away from home

I think forum as a community can be helpful for pooling resources for aspirants away from home for preparation. 

Any leads for medicines / doctors / home care especially in Delhi will be very helpful 

curious_kid,Just_restlessand21 otherslike this


Friends, let me share some of my own learnings. This might help you, or your acquaintance who may be in similar situation. [Note: This was in properMumbai.7 days ago, all these tricks helped me, and my uncle returned healthy, after struggling for oxygen, collapsed lungs, and fighting ICU anxiety. He is doing good. Is on regular medication]

1. How I fetched Remdisivir

Okay, some quick facts first. This was advised by doctor. We were not panic buying. Though recent reports say it is not that kaargar, but we were, at that time, not in a position to think like this. We were sticking to docs advise, and for us, this injection was everything, and it finally worked. 

Let me cut the long story short (this excludes our desperate search for that inj, and unlimited calls to people who we thought may help us in fetching this injection). I suddenly remembered reading about this organisation in last year's vision test series, which goes by the name- National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA). This is situated in Delhi, and is under Ministry of Fertilisers. And guess what, their mandate is "to ensure availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices". I called on their toll free number. No answer. Thought this might not be functioning. But an hour later, an under secy level officer called me, and attended my emergency. Explained him the situation. When you call them, apart from the vital medical info, also keep the prescription ready. And most importantly, the do say them that "We are not panic buying. This is advised by doctor. AND THE HOSPITAL WHERE HE IS ADMITTED,DO NOT HAVE STOCK OF THIS IN THEIR OWN DISPENSARY". Once you say this, I think the onus shifts to them, and they take you seriously. For me, this organisation worked. NPPA informed their state counterpart (FDA in Maha). Officials from FDA called me to confirm my location and genuineness. They in turn informed to the local authorised stockist. He delivered us all the viles, at MRP, without any fuss. This is how I received Remdesivir, without any contact, just reaching out to right institutions, at the right time.

2. Oxygen/Bed

This is the real deal. More than anything, it is the oxygen therapy (and regular normal medication) which is saving lives. I was simply lucky (and fortunate enough to shell out a bomb) at a private hospital. Situation is bad on ground. I am an active user of twitter, & I can vouch confidently that it is the only social media where one can hope for help. Follow verified people there. Help mil jaayegi.  (Pls DM if anyone need to know the protocols in Bombay). Also, please read this once (see attachment no 2). This will help in pitching your demand. And if you have time, and energy, and mental bandwith, pls help people on Twitter. We all can be useful in tweeting verified leads. And more importantly, we can act as a bridge between havs and have nots of digital divide. 

3. Vaccines

Pls get vaccinated if possible. No brainier in guessing that IT IS SAVING LIVES. One of the reasons doc said me while I was discharging my Mama Ji for his recovery was- "Time pe intervention ho gaya inka, aur, ganimat hai ek dose laga rakhha tha vaccine ka. Warna he was almost at the doorstep of point of no return". Let me quickly share something about the vaccine process. We all will be eligible soon. And, to my mind, elders in the house most probably would have taken at least one shot. From May 1, things would be difficult, as large number of eligible population will be chasing comparatively low numbers of doses. Not sure about tier 2 and tier 3 cities, but in metro cities, yahi haal honey wala hai. Sharing two tips while you manevuar CoWin portal. Tip 1) While searching, don't use search by pincode option.Always use 'search by district' wala option. It fetches comprehensive result of all the vaccinecentres available in the district. Tip 2) Before booking a slot in a particular centre (be it sarkaari, or pvt), pls do check weather that centre is actually inoculating on day to day basis. There is hugemismatch between 'availability shown on CoWin' and 'actual inoculation' performed in that centre. For this, I noticed that there is this very handy data available at CoWin dashboard. If you selectyour state and district on that dashboard- IT SHOWS A REAL TIME DATA of vaccine centre. Pls check this data before booking a slot. You may also keep a tab on your local authorities, and local media, from where you will get actual jaankaari (see attachment no 3). Pls do this,until vaccine supply normalise. It will save your time. Specially when your parents and elders would be venturing out for second dose. The best case scenario (for them) is to either get vaccinated before the end of this month. Or, booking a lot in a hospital, which a) is inoculating daily, b) is available on cowin portal and, c) you reach at the vaccine centre jaldi se before vaccine gets out of stock. 

Similarly, in smaller towns, agar vaccine available hai bhi to, there is vaccine hesitancy. Stupid WhatsApp forwards, fear of adverse reaction, religious reasons, superstitions, rumors (like one friend of mine just sent me a forward which said that she should not get vaccinated during her periods, as this is detrimental to her menstrual health, and her mom is now apprehensive about vaccines). Yes, this might look ajeeb to many of us privileged, but hinterland mei ye sab ho raha hai. If you live in tier 2, 3 district, and if their do not exists any shortage of vaccines- Haath jod ke vinti hai, TAKE THAT JAB !

Jaan hai to jahan hai, should superceed everything. Dawai bhi. Kadai bhi. Aur padhai bhi. 

Till next time


PS: pasting all the attachments.   

1. About NPPA, their toll free helpline. (Website-

2. How to clearly articulate for leads on twitter, and in general- 

3. Updates from local authority like this-

4. Some useful screen shots I took from vaccine registration portal (, and cowin dashboard (

D503,Itachiand33 otherslike this

 Key principle - do NOT ignore mild symptoms- low grade fever, mild cough, body ache etc. Don't try to “shake it off”by resting a couple of days. Consider it a yellow flag immediately. While you look at getting tested for Covid, act based on symptoms

Act but don't panic.

Note the day of first symptoms - that is Day 1

Day 1 - Start taking Dolo 650/ Crocin as needed along with Celin 500 (Vit C) and Zincovit/ Zinconia once a day. Also take steam 5-6 times a day. Gargle with betadine. 

Check SpO2 readings periodically. A dip can be cause for alarm but decent readings not a cause for complacency

Known good practice: lie down in prone position (face down, pillow under chest) without mask and take deep breaths. 

Day 3 - If symptoms persist for 3 days, you can start taking Azee and Ivermectin 12 mg. Once a day for 3-5 days. This is ‘covid light’ treatment 

Please continue all the vitamins and treatments outlined above

(Some docs give doxycycline instead of Azee)

As you count from the day of first symptoms, things should start to improve from day 5-6 if infection is mild. Else it’s a cause for further action.

Tests that should be done by day 5 (can be earlier too)

Blood tests - CRP, CBC, Ferratin, D Dimer. 

High CRP levels - above 10- indicate infection. 

Chest CT Scan

If high CRP, then CT is a must; 

Many are doing CT earlier to save time, some even twice.

Fever persisting post day 5, you should check with your doc about Fabiflu. Fabiflu is prescribed by doctors in cases where the fever stays high

(Most in India are talking about remdesivir, but its not a miracle drug and also hits the liver hard)

Day 7 is a good time to look at steroids depending upon age and any comorbidities. Doc intervention critical !

Dexona 6 mg (along with pan-d & ecosprin 25 or higher) 

If fever is there then likely Fabiflu will be taken (1800mg twice on day 1; 800mg twice from day 2)

Oxygen levels consistently under 94 are tricky and under 90 would need hospitalisation; Oxygen cans, concentrator, cylinder can provide critical interim relief 

The sincere hope (and prayer) is to minimise number of cases that get to this point.

ssver2,Joeyisthebestand29 otherslike this

Quick update on vaccine.


1. Yes, it's difficult. Getting a slot will give you Tatkal vibes. I am sure you all must have heard about python scripts and shabby websites currently floating in air, which promises a guaranteed slot. But not everything is trusted. Not only 18+ are finding it difficult, but in some cities, (like every metropolitan city), even 45+, which hitherto were able to easily get inoculated are finding it difficult to book a slot. Those who have received first dose (45+) are finding difficulty in taking there second dose, and fearing (rightly so) about the failed efficacy of vaccine if not taken on time.

2. Even if walk in is available in your locality, (though rare) one won't risk standing in que, and specially when our parents (and grandparents if any) are involved. Covid  appropriate behaviour is seldom observed in nicest of localities.

3. Covaxine is in extreme short supply. And finding a center which is providing Covaxine is difficult. 

4. Confusion regarding when to take second dose. 28 days?  45 days? 12 weeks? 

5. OTP/Cowin Portal/ Aarogya Setu glitches. Which has sure shot probability of getting a slot?


Problems pertaining to 1,2, 3 and 5 can be solved by thisamazing trusted website. Have personal experience. Got inoculated via this. And in fact, have interacted with this person once on twitter. 

How it works? 

Step 1- Open the link. Select state, and district.

 Step 2- It will prompt you to join a telegram channel (of that specific  district).

Step 3- Join the channel. Now,

Step 4- This channel will notify you whenever slots are up for grab in your district.

But, if you're thinking "jaise hi notification aayega,  waise hi cowin pe log in  karkey mai jaldi jaldi slot le lungi/ga, so simple", then you're thinking it wrong. It's a fastest fingers first. Literally. Instead of waiting for notification, study the pattern of messages. AFTER JOINING THE CHANNEL, SEE PAST MESSAGES ON THAT CHANNEL. Devise a trend (usually slots are available at a particular time), and once messages ka trend is devised, PRE LOG IN ON THE COWIN PORTAL. In short: Don't wait for telegram to notify you, observe trend, and be ready pehle se hi.

In case your district is not listed,request this personon twitter, or request by commentingunder this thread. He will create a link for you. I requested him for a vaccine channel for U45 peeps for a backward tier 3 district, and he very sweetly obliged. Have booked slots for my friends, family, extended family (🙃) by following this method.

To look for your district's channel in 45+ category, check if he has created a channel for your districthere

Also, try booking a slot on via laptop (and not via phone's browser). This is because typing captcha in those critical few microseconds is easy on lappy. And if lappy is not available, use Aarogya Setu App, instead of using phone's browser.

Regarding second dose of covisheild, don't fret if your/parents date is nearing. Referthis, andthisfor latest on this subject. 

D503,Oasisand23 otherslike this

This is just a thank you note to everyone who has contributed to this thread. Reading through it helped me formulate a good enough plan for me and my family. Although still in room isolation, things are definitely looking better. I showed mild symptoms on 27th. But they subsided on 29th itself. For dad it was a bit longer from 28th to 2nd. Now feeling much better. vitals all good. thanks to you guys i didnt have to scramble for info and knew the simple dos and donts without any confusion. And the biggest take away- Being positive in attitude to be negative in corona! :)
@Villanelle @Rewl1 @Usain_bolt @12432TrivendrumRajdhani @whatonly @AlexanderSupertramp  and others

Aurora,Just_restlessand11 otherslike this

Anyone having covid symptoms but negative on a test, please assume it was a false negative and get tested again after a few days, and continue to take precautions as though the test was positive until then. Also do take a CT scan in the meanwhile if you can.

My parents and grandparents tested positive with barely any symptoms (at the most fever for half a day and mild sore throat) - which can be explained by the fact that they took their first vaccine. But I have persistent symptoms since 24th-25th, and tested negative on both the antibody test and RTPCR taken yesterday. It makes no sense, especially considering our contact patterns. So maximum vigilance is the only option. 

My family has been extremely careful since last year. In 2020 I left the house only once after covid started - to give the prelims. This year the 5 days of mains, 2 days in January at the homes of friends who were equally careful, and once last month to get eyesight tested. Parents followed every precaution even when cases went down, worked from home as much as possible, and we sanitized every inch of every object that entered the home with great effort. The only possible explanation is that we had house help coming, but both aunties were extremely careful as well.

I'm saying this because it seems like all the care in the world cannot 100% save you anymore, so we should all have plans of action ready. Sit down with your family and make contingency plans for any combination of people testing positive. Research on treatment plans beforehand. A sudden positive result can make you a bit overwhelmed, so it's better to have a plan ready. 

If you're having symptoms, keep taking steam and drink hot water along with whatever medicines you're prescribed. It's a good idea to get those disposable rubber gloves too for use in any common area that you can't avoid. Keep a chart of temperature and SpO2 readings. Put a day's water supply in your room and keep drinking water often. Get some disposable plates and glasses so they don't have to be washed, and keep a common point near your room where someone can come and put stuff that you need for you to pick up. (This stuff might be fairly obvious, but wanted to share just in case someone is feeling too tired to think)

GaryVee,Rewl1and10 otherslike this

Amid all this chaos let me share some positive things regarding my experience with covid( till now).

At the very outset let me clarify that I am not a medical professional. My learnings with health and fitness is more on grounds of experience rather than knowledge of books and technicalities.

I have been infected twice till now, first in September last year and then March this year. Both times I recovered  within 24 hours . Loss of smell and taste continued for 10-12 days but physically I was completely normal. Both times I didn't go for test even, not out of my ignorance but because I knew this fever and cold will normalise.

May be I was lucky but I believe the main reason for my quick recovery was my involvement in sports since childhood. I am a sprinter and I have won multiple medals at national level in school and college. I played my first state level in class nine. After my graduation in 2019 although I left professional athletics but I have tried to maintain shape with regular running and gyming.

By no means I am suggesting anyone to take this virus lightly,  but I want to say that even if you get infected DON'T PANIC! Most experts are suggesting that there is 80-85% probability that you will recover naturally.

If possible engage yourself in some form of physical workouts. Wheather its jogging or gyming or dancing... do whatever the hell you want to do but for god sake keep that blood pumping in your body for one hour. There are thousands of videos and websites available for home workouts.. Search online, if you don't find anything just DM me I am always there for you.

In my training days my coach used to tell me that the discipline which you put on your body gets reflected on your mind. In those days I never understood what he was saying (jab khoon garam hota hai toh dusron ki batein kam samajh ati hain) but today I understand those words. It all starts with the mind.

If you are thinking that by doing nothing you are ' saving time ' and ' protecting yourself ' let me tell you that you are badly mistaken. If you don't believe me ask a guy who couldn't do anything for 20 odd days after infection. By doing nothing we are making our body vulnerable to all sorts of diseases. Workouts will boost your immunity, decrease your mood swings and improve overall productivity.

There is nothing more powerful than human spirit. If you have to go out of your home for any reason don't step out with fear in you. Use all protective gears and have that conviction in your heart that this virus is temporary but I am here to stay!

P.S- This post is for normal people. If you develop complexities plz seek professional help as soon as possible. 

Aurora,EiChanand8 otherslike this
Hello everyone. I don't post normally, just a silent spectator here but what transpired today early morning is important esp during these trying times.

I was asleep in my room and around 3 am I felt a man standing near my bed. When I gathered my senses, I took my brother's name because he sleeps in the adjacent room. But then I could sense a weird body language and no response from the figure in the dark. When I got up from my bed towards him, he ran and jumped from the nearest window through which he had entered the house. I tried to wake up everyone in the House and quickly realised my Phone was gone. I looked for a torch light because it was pitch dark outside (thanks to no streetlights or no power) and heard the noise of the man falling on the ground.

I quickly gathered some sense and delinked my phone sim from bank details, google login and WhatsApp . I couldn't help but feel helpless over all the crucial information we tend to store in our phone these days. And today being a Sunday, I couldn't even go to a physical store to deactivate my sim. I have tried it over the customer care and Twitter but I'm not sure unless a get a duplicate tomorrow. Today morning I filed an FIR in the nearest Police Station.

I know the damages could've been much more considering laptops were also in my room. But at the same time, My phone is gone. More than that, the pain of having to see it go right in front of your eyes is another level. Overall, I write this to give out an extra warning to be precautious esp in Covid times. Just a week back, a rickshaw driver had narrated his plight during the Lockdowns and I couldn't do much but empathise. Now I understand maybe increase in crime is bound in such times. My landlord also couldn't do much.

Anyway, I felt like it would be responsible of me to put it out there in front of aspirants - who like me are struggling with minimal resources in an alien city, all trying to fulfil this IAS dream. Take care and Mask up all.
And be extra vigilant.
Neyawn,chamomileand5 otherslike this

If you know anyone who has unfortunately passed away due to Covid-19 and was an employee under pvt sector, then their nominee/legal heir may be eligible to receive an amount up to ₹7 lakhs under the Employees Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) scheme.

EDLI is an insurance cover provided by the EPFO (Employees Provident Fund Organisation) for private sector salaried employees. You may share this information with your friends and acquaintances.

Note: Only when employer contributed to such schemes like EDLI, EPF and EPS and the Pvt company falls under the legality of ensuring the same for securing the future of their employees. Opting this is optional for employer. But since premium is very low, usually employers opt for it. Big private firms definitely do. Thus, checking with the HR department might help. 

See attachments.

sonder,Just_restlessand5 otherslike this


Never got into Oxford, but this time Oxford got in my veins. 

Leke dekho, achha lagta hai !

Just_restless,GaryVeeand4 otherslike this

This is the Govt of India's e- consultation website. It's free of cost and the doctors are govt doctors. So if anyone wants to consult it would be really easy and the doctors are good too.

A friend suggested this to me yesterday, she had taken a consultation from here. So I took the consultation too. However, the only negative point is the long waiting queue. But since we are just at home it should not be much of a concern. Be rest assured the queue system is fairly transparent too. Also, it has an option to upload your reports so that doctors can see them (up to 3 documents). After the consultation is done your prescription is uploaded on the portal from where we can download it.

For those who cannot find a reliable doctor, this is the best place. Just a bit of patience is needed.

Omen,Rewl1and3 otherslike this
Around 1000 oxygen beds will be available at Radha Soami Satsang, Beas Delhi from Sunday 25th April onwards. If anyone requires their services, they can reach out to them.
 Radha Soami Satsang -Beas,
Bhati Mines, Chhatarpur, Nr. Sawan public school
Qutub Minar road, Delhi
Phone: 011 26654913-17.       

These are very challenging times for all of us and we must support each other with the maximum help we can.🙏
Gochi,chamomileand3 otherslike this
Got vaccinated today in Sarvodaya Bal Vidyala in west patel nagar. The process is seamless and the support and behavior of the staff was very good there. In morning today (by 12 when I reached) the arrangement was little jittery but later it was streamlined and under control. So I suggest everyone to get vaccinated soon.   
chamomile,upsc2020and2 otherslike this
@NOLEisGOAT I had moderate symptoms when I contracted COVID, but the doctor recommended me to wait for a minimum of 6 weeks post recovery. Same for my dad, who had a much higher viral load than me.
We were told vaccination must be delayed to avoid any reaction in the body. Hope this helps. 

GaryVee,chamomileand2 otherslike this

From a trusted and verified twitter handle.

GaryVee,chamomileand2 otherslike this
@Villanelle  I will again go for a chest X Ray and will check how are my lungs.  If its still growing i would have to go MAX HOSPITAL they might do CT.  I am also taking vitmin C and zinc tablet.  Covid +ve or -ve does not matter for me now. 

Yep. Yep. That’s how it should be. CT Scans are increasingly more reliable indicators of Covid for those who get false negatives.

I managed through Covid with almost no medical intervention. Now it’s been 3 weeks since the day I got fever. I was never prescribed a scan or x ray, so I guess I’ll never find out if I had or have one. Never felt any respiratory issues, or low oxygen. I feel normal for the most part. But yeah energy is definitely not back to pre Covid levels on some days. :P Hopefully, I don’t have any leftover infection. 

GaryVee,Tarkikyogiand1 otherslike this

What do you guys think about moving back with parents in this hour? I am worried being away from parents, who might need me in these times. 

Initially i was justifying staying away that how could i help in mobilising resources due to my lack of contacts etc. Now however, I dont feel the same way. I am trying to make up my mind in this regards. 

What are your thoughts ?

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