Health Ministry releases Guidelines for Home Isolation of very mild/pre-symptomatic COVID-19 cases
New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry has released Guidelines for Home Isolation of very mild/pre-symptomatic COVID-19 cases
As per existing guidelines, during the containment phase the patients should be clinically assigned as very mild/mild, moderate or severe and accordingly admitted to (i) COVID Care Center, (ii) Dedicated COVID Health Center or (iii) Dedicated COVID Hospital respectively. However, very mild/presymptomatic patients having the requisite facility at his/her residence for self-isolation will have the option for home isolation.
Following are its salient features
2. Eligibility for home isolation
i. The person should be clinically assigned as a very mild case/ pre-symptomatic case by the treating medical officer.
ii. Such cases should have the requisite facility at their residence for self-isolation and also for quarantining the family contacts.
iii. A care giver should be available to provide care on 24 x7 basis. A communication link between the caregiver and hospital is a prerequisite for the entire duration of home isolation.
iv. The care giver and all close contacts of such cases should take Hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis as per protocol and as prescribed by the treating medical officer.
v. Download Arogya Setu App on mobile (available at: https://www.mygov.in/aarogya-setuapp/) and it should remain active at all times (through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi)
vi. The patient shall agree to monitor his health and regularly inform his health status to the District Surveillance Officer for further follow up by the surveillance teams.
vii. The patient will fill in an undertaking on self-isolation (Annexure I) and shall follow home quarantine guidelines. Such individual shall be eligible for home isolation.
viii. In addition to the guidelines on home-quarantine available at:
https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/Guidelinesforhomequarantine.pdf, the required instructions for the care giver and the patient as in Annexure II shall be also followed, the guidelines stated
3. When to seek medical attention
Patient / Care giver will keep monitoring their health. Immediate medical attention must be sought if serious signs or symptoms develop. These could include
(i) Difficulty in breathing,
(ii) Persistent pain/pressure in the chest,
(iii) Mental confusion or inability to arouse,
(iv) Developing bluish discolorations of lips/face and
(v) As advised by treating medical officer
4. When to discontinue home isolation- Patients under home isolation will end home isolation if symptoms are clinically resolved and the surveillance medical officer certifies him to be free of infection after laboratory testing
The Annexure II on the other hand states the following
Instructions for care-givers
Mask: The caregiver should wear a triple layer medical mask appropriately 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. Discard the mask after use and perform hand hygiene after disposal of the mask.
He/she should avoid touching own face, nose or mouth.
Hand hygiene must be ensured following contact with ill person or his immediate environment.
Hand hygiene should also be practiced before and after preparing food, before eating, after using the toilet, and whenever hands look dirty. 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.
Exposure to patient: Avoid direct contact with body fluids of the patient, particularly oral or respiratory secretions. Use disposable gloves while handling the patient. Perform hand hygiene before and after removing gloves.
Avoid exposure to potentially contaminated items in his immediate environment (e.g. avoid sharing cigarettes, eating utensils, dishes, drinks, used towels or bed linen). Food must be provided to the patient in his room
Utensils and dishes used by the patient should be cleaned with soap/detergent and water wearing gloves. The utensils and dishes may be re-used. Clean hands after taking off gloves or handling used items.
Use triple layer medical mask and disposable gloves while cleaning or handling surfaces, clothing or linen used by the patient. Perform hand hygiene before and after removing gloves.
The care giver will make sure that the patient follows the prescribed treatment.
The care giver and all close contact will self-monitor their health with daily temperature monitoring and report promptly if they develop any symptom suggestive of COVID-19 (fever/cough/difficulty in breathing)
Instructions for the patient