New Delhi: The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has issued guidelines, including on eligibility, handling of different categories of cases, and so on, for gated residential complexes desirous of setting up small Covid Care facilities run by the Resident Welfare Associations, housing societies and NGOs using their own resources.
The ministry believes that this step may be more acceptable to the residents and will help reduce the burden on existing facilities for managing pre-symptomatic, asymptomatic and very mild cases of Covid-19 residing in that particular society.
However, it stressed that this facility is not meant for elderly patients, children less than 10 years of age, pregnant or lactating women, and patients with co-morbidities (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease, chronic respiratory disease, cancer and other immune-compromised states) who shall be admitted to a proper Covid Care facility.
The Covid Care facility will follow strict infection prevention and control practices, the guidelines say, stating that confirmed and suspect cases would be kept in separate partitioned areas and no intermixing will be allowed. There should also be separate toilets for both categories.
The facility will be linked to the surveillance team (IDSP) and an ambulance provider, and important telephone numbers of the RWA/residential society/NGO, doctor, caregiver and ambulance service provider shall be displayed prominently.
The makeshift facility may be set up in a community hall or common utility area within the premises of residential complex or empty flats which are isolated location-wise from rest of the occupied dwelling.
The facility should have a separate entry and exit, with the entrance should have mandatory hand hygiene arrangements (sanitiser dispenser) and thermal screening provisions for caregivers. The beds shall be placed at least one metre (3 feet) from one another.
Adequate natural room ventilation shall be ensured, and putting up exhaust fans to vent out air from the facility is desirable.
The guidelines also state that a doctor residing within the gated complex or provided by the NGO will facilitate daily medical examination of the admitted patients. A caregiver designated by the RWA/residential society/NGO shall be identified to provide care to the patients.
The doctor and the caregiver so selected will undergo training on the iGot platform (https://diksha.gov.in/igot/) on Covid management and infection, prevention and control practices. The caregiver will keep records of patients admitted to such facility.
There will also be an oversight mechanism through video camera monitoring or through the guards so that the admitted patients do not leave the facility premises, visit their household, park or other common utility area.
If a suspect case admitted to Covid Care Facility tests negative, the patient will be assessed by the treating doctor and will either be discharged (on medication, if applicable) or referred to a non-Covid facility as per requirement.
The facility shall be regularly inspected by the RRTs to provide guidance to the RWA/residential society concerned.