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Revised guidelines for home isolation of COVID-19 patients

Seven-page guidelines states patients should seek medical attention if there are serious signs or symptoms

People aged more than 60 and those with co-morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung/liver/kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease etc. shall be allowed home isolation for COVID-19 only after proper evaluation by the treating medical officers, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

The Ministry issued the revised guidelines for home isolation applicable to those who have been clinically assessed and assigned as mild/asymptomatic cases. They say that those suffering from immunocompromised status (HIV, transplant recipients, cancer therapy etc.) are not recommended for home isolation and shall be allowed home isolation only after proper evaluation by the treating medical officers.

For the caregiver

For the caregiver, the Ministry notes that this should ideally be someone who has completed his vaccination schedule and 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.”

“Further a designated control room contact number at the district /sub district level shall be provided to the family to get suitable guidance for undertaking testing, clinical management related guidance, assignment of a hospital bed, if warranted. Such cases should have the requisite facility at their residence for self-isolation and for quarantining the family contacts,’’ the Ministry points out.

The seven-page revised guidelines states that patients should seek medical attention if there are serious signs or symptoms including — 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, persistent pain/pressure in the chest, mental confusion or inability to arouse and severe fatigue and myalgia.

Patient under home isolation will stand discharged and end isolation after at least 7 days have passed from testing positive and no fever for three successive days and they shall continue wearing masks. “There is no need for retesting after the home isolation period is over. Asymptomatic contacts of infected individuals need not undergo COVID-19 test,’’ it adds.

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