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BMC's New Guidelines: Who Can Home Isolate? What Are the Other Instructions?

Mumbai reported 20,181 new COVID-19 cases and 4 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Updated
COVID-19
3 min read
BMC's New Guidelines: Who Can Home Isolate? What Are the Other Instructions?
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Amid a rapid surge in coronavirus cases in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday, 6 January, released fresh guidelines for home isolation.

“The BMC had issued the home isolation guidelines earlier, which is now revised for patients and caregivers to guide them during home isolation. These guidelines are based on Government of India's guidelines dated 5 January,” the BMC said in its circular.

Who is eligible for home isolation? What are the instructions for patients and caregivers? Here is all you need to know:

Who is eligible for home isolation?

Patients can opt for home isolation in the following cases:

  • The patients must be clinically assessed and assigned as mild/ asymptomatic cases of the virus.

  • The patients must have required home isolation facilities.

  • The patient must have an active caregiver, available for 24 hours.

What are the instructions for home isolation?

According to the BMC circular, the instructions for home isolation are:

  • The patient must isolate themselves from other household members, stay in an identified room, and be away from other people at home, especially from the elderly and those with co-morbid 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.

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  • The patient must wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 40 seconds or clean with an alcohol-based sanitiser.

  • The patient must not share personal items, including utensils, with other people in the household.

  • Frequently touched surfaces in the room such as tabletops, doorknobs handles, etc., must be cleaned frequently with soap or detergent and water.

  • The cleaning can be undertaken either by the patient or the caregiver duly following required precautions such as the use of masks and gloves.

What are the health instructions for patients?

  • The patient must take rest and drink a lot of fluids to maintain adequate hydration.

  • The patient must follow respiratory etiquettes at all times.

  • The patient must wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 40 seconds or clean with an alcohol-based sanitiser.

  • The patient is advised to self-monitor blood oxygen saturation using a pulse oximeter, their daily temperature as well as their general health. In case of deterioration in symptoms, the patient must report the same promptly.

  • “The status shall be shared with the treating Medical Officer as well as surveillance teams/Control room,” as per the BMC circular.

How to use a mask in home isolation?

  • The patient should at all times use a triple-layer medical mask.

  • They should discard the mask after eight hours of use or earlier if the mask becomes wet or is visibly soiled.

  • In the event of the caregiver entering the room, both the caregiver and the patient may preferably consider using the N95 mask.

  • The used mask should be cut into pieces and put in a paper bag for a minimum of 72 hours, and then discarded.

What are the BMC's instructions for caregivers?

  • Avoid direct contact with body fluids (respiratory, oral secretions including saliva) of the patient. Use disposable gloves while handling the patient.

  • Avoid exposure to potentially contaminated items in his immediate environment.

  • Food must be provided to the patient in their room. Utensils and dishes used by the patient should be cleaned with soap/detergent and water while wearing gloves. The utensils may be reused after proper cleaning.

  • Clean hands after taking off gloves or handling used items. Use a triple-layer medical mask and disposable gloves while cleaning or handling surfaces, clothing, or linen used by the patient.

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What are the instructions for immunocompromised, co-morbid, and pregnant women?

  • 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 / doctor.

  • Patients suffering from immune-compromised 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/doctor.

  • Home Isolation shall not be applicable for pregnant women two weeks before the Expected Date of Delivery (EDD).

When to end home isolation?

The patients can end home isolation after at least 7 days of testing positive and having no fever for three consecutive days. On ending home isolation, there is no need for retesting.

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