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Covid-19

Health Ministry Issues Revised Guidelines For Home Isolation of Mild, Asymptomatic Covid-19 patients; Here Are The Key points

These guidelines should be followed by people who are clinically diagnosed with asymptomatic or mild case of Covid-19.

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New Delhi: Union Health Ministry on Wednesday released a revised version of guidelines for people who clinically tested positive for covid-19 and its all known variants including Delta, Beta, Omicron etc. These guidelines are for people with asymptomatic to mild covid-19 symptoms.

These guidelines should be followed by people who are diagnosed with asymptomatic or mild case of Covid-19. Health Ministry, further extends medical help and assistance if any Coronavirus infected person suffers lethal or life threatening comorbidities.

Listed below are the eligibility for home isolation, instructions, precautions, disposal of biomedical waste and more.

Points to Remember:

An asymptomatic case refers to someone who has tested positive in a laboratory diagnosis test but not experiencing any symptoms and have oxygen saturation at room air of more than 93%.

A mild symptom case refers to someone who has tested positive in a laboratory diagnosis test and has an upper respiratory tract symptoms with or without
fever, without shortness of breath and having oxygen saturation at room air of more than 93%.

Are You Eligible For Home Isolation?

A patient should be clinically assigned as mild/ asymptomatic case by the treating
Medical Officer.

People with positive report should have the requisite (separate) facility at their residence for self-isolation and for quarantining the family contacts.

A caregiver (ideally someone who has completed his COVID-19 vaccination schedule) should be available to provide care on 24 x7 basis. A communication link between the caregiver and a medical officer is a prerequisite for the entire duration of home isolation.

Elderly patients aged more than 60 years and those with co-morbid conditions such as Hypertension, Diabetes, Heart disease, Chronic lung/liver/ kidney disease, Cerebrovascular disease etc shall only be allowed home isolation.

Instructions For Covid-19 Positive Patient:

Patient must isolate himself from other household members, stay in the identified room and away from other people in home.

Patient should stay away especially from elderly and those with co-morbid conditions like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, renal disease etc.

The patient should stay in a well-ventilated room with cross ventilation and windows
should be kept open to allow fresh air to come in.

Patient should at all times use triple layer medical mask. They should discard mask after 8 hours of use or earlier if the mask becomes wet or is visibly soiled.

Patient must take rest and drink lot of fluids to maintain adequate hydration.

Follow respiratory etiquettes at all times.

Undertake frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 40 seconds or clean with alcohol-based sanitizer.

The patients shall not share personal items including utensils with other people in the household.

Self-monitoring of blood oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter for the patient is advised along with daily temperature monitoring.

Treatment For Covid-19 Positive Patient:

Patients must be in communication with a treating Medical Officer and promptly report in case of any deterioration.

The patient must continue the medications for other co-morbidities/ illness after consulting the treating Medical Officer.

Patients to follow symptomatic management for fever, running nose and cough, as
warranted.

Patients may perform warm water gargles or take steam inhalation thrice a day.

If fever is not controlled with a maximum dose of Tab. Paracetamol 650 mg four times a day, consult the treating doctor

What should Not Be Done:

Information floating through social media mentioning non-authentic and non-evidence based treatment protocols can harm patients. Misinformation leading to creation of panic and in-turn undertaking tests and treatment which are not required has to be avoided.

Less use of cell-phones, laptops and especially social media, take more rest watch good-mood movies.

Do not rush for self-medication, blood investigation or radiological imaging like chest X ray or chest CT scan without consultation of your treating Medical Officer.

Steroids are not indicated in mild disease and shall not be self-administered. Overuse & inappropriate use of steroids may lead to additional complications.

Treatment for every patient needs to be monitored individually as per the specific condition of the patient concerned and hence generic sharing of prescriptions shall be avoided.

When to Rush Hospital or for medical attention?

Unresolved High-grade fever (more than 100° F for more than 3 days)

Difficulty in breathing, dip in oxygen saturation (SpO2 ≤ 93% on room air at least 3 readings within 1 hour) or respiratory rate >24/ min.

Respiratory rate >24/ min, mental confusion or inability to arouse, severe fatigue and myalgia

The person may require hospital admission and shall seek immediate consultation of their treating Medical Officer/surveillance team /Control room

Instructions For Care Giver;

Mask:

The caregiver should wear a triple layer medical mask. N95 mask may be considered
when in the same room with the ill person.

Front portion of the mask should not be touched or handled during use.

If the mask gets wet or dirty with secretions, it must be changed immediately.

Mask should be discarded after cutting them to pieces and putting in a paper bag for
a minimum of 72 hours.

Perform hand hygiene after disposal of the mask, he/she should avoid touching own face, nose or mouth.

Hand Hygiene:

Hand hygiene must be ensured following contact with ill person or his immediate
environment. Perform hand hygiene before and after removing gloves.

Use soap and water for hand washing at least for 40 seconds. Alcohol-based hand rub can be used, if hands are not visibly soiled.

After using soap and water, use of disposable paper towels to dry hands is desirable.
If not available, use dedicated clean cloth towels and replace them when they
become wet.

When To End Home Isolation?

Patient under home isolation will stand discharged and end isolation after at least 7 days have passed from testing positive and no fever for 3 successive days and they shall continue wearing masks.

There is no need for re-testing after the home isolation period is over asymptomatic contacts of infected individuals need not undergo Covid-19 test & monitor health in
home quarantine.