The Centre on Sunday issued revised guidelines for very mild or pre-symptomatic patients of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) for staying in home isolation instead of being admitted to COVID-19 care facilities or hospitals. According to the new order, “there is no need for testing after the home isolation period is over” for the patients who qualify for home quarantine and go through it.
In order to be eligible for home isolation, a person will have to be “clinically assigned as a very mild or pre-symptomatic case by the treating medical officer”. The person should also sign an undertaking on self-isolation.
Rules for home isolation
The person should have facilities for self-isolation and quarantining the family contacts at home. “A care giver should be available to provide care on 24×7 basis,” and a constant communication between the care giver and the hospital is mandatory. The patient should also have Aarogya Setu App in the phone and it should be active all the time.
The care giver and all close contacts of these patients should take recommended doses of hydroxychloroquine as preventive medicine for COVID-19. Health officials must be able to monitor the patient’s health through surveillance teams.
The patient must take adequate rest and drink lots of fluids. Personal items should not be shared by the patient with others at home. Surfaces which are often touched (like doors, tabletops etc) should be cleaned with one percent sodium hypochlorite solution.
When to seek medical attention
The patient must be given “immediate medical attention” on experiencing breathing trouble, constant chest pressure or pain, mental confusion or “inability to arouse (emote)” or develops bluish discolouration on lips or face. A medical officer treating the person is also authorised to advice seeking medical attention.
When to discontinue
Home isolation can be discontinued “after 17 days of onset of symptoms (or date of sampling, for pre-symptomatic cases) and no fever for 10 days”.
Most importantly, according to the new order, “there is no need for testing after the home isolation period is over” for the patients who qualify for home quarantine and go through it.