Revised guidelines for home isolation of COVID patients issued

Bhubaneswar: The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare today issued revised guidelines for home isolation of COVID-19 patients.

The issuance comes amid sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, including Omicron cases, across the country.

Below are details of the revised guidelines.

Patients eligible for home isolation

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

* A caregiver (ideally someone who has completed his COVID-19 vaccination schedule) should be available to provide care on 24×7 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 after proper evaluation by the treating medical officer.

* Patients suffering from immunocompromised status (HIV, Transplant recipients, Cancer therapy etc.) are not recommended for home isolation and shall only be allowed home isolation after proper evaluation by the treating Medical Officer.

Instructions for the patient

* Patient must isolate himself from other household members, stay in the identified room and away from other people in home, especially elderly and those with comorbid 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. In the event of Caregiver entering the room, both Caregiver and patient may preferably consider using N-95 mask.

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

* 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.

* Need to ensure cleaning of frequently touched surfaces in the room (tabletops, doorknobs, handles, etc.) with soap/detergent & water. The cleaning can be undertaken either by the patient or the caregiver duly following required precautions such as use of masks and gloves.

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

* The patient shall self-monitor his/her health with daily temperature monitoring (as given below) and report promptly if any deterioration of symptom is noticed. The status shall be shared with the treating Medical Officer as well as surveillance teams/Control room.

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