I Have Tested COVID-Positive – What Are the Home Quarantine Rules?

What precautions should you take during home quarantine? Here’s what you need to know.

2 min read
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India is witnessing a second wave of coronavirus infections, with states across the country recording exponential fresh cases each day.

So, what should you do if you catch COVID-19? What precautions should you take during home quarantine? Here’s what you need to know.

Who is eligible to home quarantine?

  • Only those who are clinically assigned to be mild or pre-symptomatic are eligible for home isolation
  • Elderly patients who are more than 60 years of age as well as those with co-morbid conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung/liver/ kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease shall be allowed home isolation only after proper evaluation by a medical officer
  • Patients who are diagnosed as immunocompromised are not eligible for home isolation. This includes those who are undergoing HIV, transplant recipients, and cancer patients.

I am asymptomatic. Can I quarantine at home?

Yes, asymptomatic people along with mild and pre-symptomatic ones can be home quarantined.

Can those whom I stay with step out while I am under quarantine?

Not at all. While the person who has tested coronavirus positive should be in complete isolation, the other members staying in the house should not step out.

I have tested positive. How do I get my family members tested?

In cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Bengaluru, the government facilitates testing of family members. However, you can also arrange for testing in private labs – for which the individual will have to pay.

I have been home-quarantined. Under what circumstances should I seek medical help?

  • Dip in oxygen level
  • Slurred speech/seizures
  • Weakness in any limb or face
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Pain/pressure in chest
  • Bluish discoloration on lips/face

I need a hospital bed. Whom should I contact?

You should reach out to the State and District Surveillance office, once you develop symptoms that require hospitalisation. You can also call the helpline “104” or Government of India’s control room number +91-11-23978046.

What precautions should I take while in home quarantine?

Apart from the physician’s instructions, those who are infected with coronavirus and opt for home quarantine, must follow these rules:

  • Patients must stay in a separate room, away from others – especially the elderly people.
  • They should wear a triple-layer mask at all times. The mask should be discarded after every eight hours, as per the instructions given by the medical officer.
  • Must drink lot of fluids and keep hydrated, while regularly monitoring their temperature.
  • The patient must wash hands often with soap and water for at least 40 seconds
  • Do not share items with anyone else – like plates or comb.

When can coronavirus patients end home isolation?

Patients can end their home isolation and be discharged after 10 days of onset of symptoms and no fever for three days. In the previous guidelines, patients were allowed to end home isolation only after 17 days of onset of symptoms and no fever for 10 days.

This also means that more recoveries are reported in a shorter period of time.

Does this mean the person must be tested for coronavirus after their symptoms go away?

No, under revised guidelines, a person is not required to undergo the test after the home isolation period is over.

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