Every day the number of covid-19 positive people in India is growing. But the good thing is that most of the positive cases in the country are not that severe in nature and can be treated in home isolation.
To that end, the Government of India had earlier shared home isolation guidelines revealing what needs to be done if you’re taking care of someone who is home isolated. But given how rapidly everything is changing, the ministry has revised its home isolation guidelines.
These new guidelines include asymptomatic positive patients in the list of mild or pre-symptomatic coronavirus infection cases.
Here’s all you should know about it.
1. Who is not eligible for home isolation?
Patients suffering from immune-compromised status (like HIV, transplant recipients, cancer therapy) are not eligible for home isolation.
2. Elderly patients need proper medical attention according to the new guidelines
Patients above the age of 60 years and those with co-morbid conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung/liver/kidney disease and cerebro-vascular disease, among others, should only be allowed home isolation after proper evaluation by the treating medical officer.
3. Guidelines for discharge from home isolation have also changed
Patients under home isolation will be discharged after 10 days of onset of symptoms and no fever for three days, the guidelines stated.
“Thereafter, the patient will be advised to isolate at home and self-monitor their health for seven more days. There is no need for testing after the home isolation period is over,” states the ‘Revised Guidelines for Home Isolation of very mild/pre-symptomatic/asymptomatic covid-19 cases’.
4. You should have a proper home isolation facility
According to the guidelines, asymptomatic patients like ones who are pre-symptomatic and have very mild symptoms can opt for home isolation if they have the requisite self-isolation facility at their residence so as to avoid contact with other family members.
5. Caregivers need to follow separate guidelines
According to the guidelines, a caregiver should be available to provide care on a 24×7 basis and the communication link between the caregiver and hospital is a prerequisite for the entire duration of home isolation.
Besides this, the guidelines reiterate that the caregiver and all close contacts of such cases should take hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medication according to the protocol and as prescribed by the treating medical officer.
6. You must have the Arogya Setu app in your mobile
The guidelines call for downloading the Arogya Setu mobile application on your phone and that it should remain active at all times (through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi).
7. Regular health monitoring is important
Patients should monitor their health and regularly inform their health status to the district surveillance officer, who will facilitate further follow up.
The patient also has to give an undertaking stating that they have been diagnosed as a confirmed/suspected case of covid-19 and that they are voluntarily undertaking self-isolation at all times for the prescribed period.
Immediate medical attention must be sought if serious signs or symptoms, such as difficulty in breathing, dip in oxygen saturation, persistent pain/pressure in the chest, mental confusion, slurred speech/seizures, weakness or numbness in limbs or face, and bluish discolouration of the lips/face.
Responsibilities of the state governments are also defined under the guidelines
The SARS-CoV-2 home isolation guidelines also states that the state government should also send medical staff to the homes of people who are quarantined to keep a thorough check. The field staff will guide the patient on measuring their vitals and provide the instructions (for patients and their caregivers), they said.
All family members and close contacts shall be monitored and tested as per protocol by the field staff. These discharge guidelines shall be strictly adhered to along with the issuance of a fitness certificate by the field team, they added.
(With inputs from PTI)