Coronavirus | Centre alters guidelines for home isolation

Changes in view of asymptomatic cases.

Updated - July 04, 2020 12:19 am IST

Published - July 03, 2020 09:54 am IST - NEW DELHI

A nurse collecting information from a sticker pasted by GHMC officials outside a quarantined flat in Hyderabad.

A nurse collecting information from a sticker pasted by GHMC officials outside a quarantined flat in Hyderabad.

Any patient under home isolation will stand discharged after 10 days of symptom onset and no fever for three days. Thereafter, the patient will be advised to isolate at home and self-monitor their health for a further seven days. There is no need for testing after the home isolation period is over, the Union Health Ministry has noted in its revised guidelines for home isolation of very mild/pre-symptomatic/asymptomatic COVID-19 cases.

The guidelines issued here on Friday are in supersession to those issued on the subject on May 10.

As per the guidelines, the patients should be clinically assigned as very mild/mild, moderate or severe and accordingly admitted to COVID Care Centre, Dedicated COVID Health Centre or Dedicated COVID Hospital respectively.

“In view of large number of asymptomatic cases being detected, the current guidelines have been extended to asymptomatic positive cases also besides very mild and pre-symptomatic cases,” noted the Ministry.

Patients eligible for home isolation should be clinically assigned as a very mild/pre-symptomatic/asymptomatic case by the treating medical officer and such cases should have the requisite facility at their residence for self-isolation and also for quarantining the family contacts.

But patients suffering from immune compromised status (HIV, Transplant recipients, cancer therapy etc) are not eligible for home isolation. Also elderly patients aged more than 60 years and those with co-morbid conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung/liver/ kidney disease, cerebro-vascular disease etc. shall only be allowed home isolation after proper evaluation by the treating medical officer.

As per the guidelines, the caregiver and all close contacts of such cases should take hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis as per protocol and as prescribed by the treating medical officer.

The Health Ministry adds that immediate medical attention must be sought if serious signs or symptoms develop. These could include difficulty in breathing, dip in oxygen saturation (SpO2 < 95%), pain/pressure in the chest, mental confusion or inability to wake or stay awake, slurred speech/seizures, weakness or numbness in any limb or face and developing bluish discolourations of lips/face.

“The health status of those under home isolation should be monitored by the field staff/surveillance teams through personal visit along with a dedicated call centre to follow up the patients on daily basis,” the Ministry has directed.

It added that all family members and close contacts shall be monitored and tested as per protocol by the field staff.

“Patient on home isolation will be discharged from treatment as per protocol and these discharge guidelines shall be strictly adhered to along with issuance of a fitness certificate by the field team,” noted the Ministry.

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