Health Ministry allows home quarantine of very mild and pre-symptomatic COVID-19 cases

The Union Health Ministry on Monday issued a set of guidelines stating “very mild/pre-symptomatic COVID-19 cases” can be kept in home isolation.

A person will be considered eligible for home isolation when he is “clinically assigned as a very mild case/pre-symptomatic case by the treating medical officer”. The guidelines also say that “Such cases should have the requisite facility at their residence for self-isolation and also for quarantining the family contacts”.

“A caregiver should be available to provide care on 24×7 basis,” it was said, and there should be a constant communication between the caregiver and the hospital. The care giver and all “close contacts” of the person will have to take hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure for COVID-19 “as per protocol and as prescribed by the treating medical officer.”

The patient will have to fill in an undertaking on self-isolation and both the patient and the care giver would have to follow all home quarantine guidelines as instructed by the government. The patient will have to agree to let government officials monitor him and download Aarogya Setu App meant for tracking and monitoring COVID-19 cases.

The guidelines say that care givers must seek “immediate medical attention” if the following symptoms develop: breathing difficulty, persistent pain or pressure in chest, mental confusion or inability to arouse (emote), bluish discolouration on lips or face or if the treating medical officer advises so.

Home quarantine can be discontinued if the symptoms disappear and the medical officer certifies the patient to be cured following lab testing for COVID-19.

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