FAQ: I Have COVID-19 & Am Home Quarantined – What Should I Know?
Who is eligible to opt for home quarantine? What about the caregivers at home? Here’s all you need to know.
If a person shows mild symptoms of COVID-19 and has adequate space at home to stay in self-quarantine without interacting with other members, new government guidelines decree that they can stay in home quarantine rather than going to a hospital.
What are these new set of guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare? Who is eligible to opt for home quarantine and who is not? What about the caregivers at home? Here’s all you need to know.
I have been tested positive for COVID-19. Can I opt for home quarantine?
A person can opt for home quarantine only if they fulfill these criteria:
- They should be clinically assigned to be mild or pre-symptomatic.
- They should have the facility for adequate space at home for self-quarantine and for quarantining family members/people in the same house.
- A hospital certified caregiver must be available at all hours.
- They should download the Arogya Setu app and it should be active through at all times.
- The patient shall agree to monitor his health and regularly inform his health status to the District Surveillance Officer for further follow up by the surveillance teams.
- The patient will fill in an undertaking on self-isolation and shall follow home quarantine guidelines.
What precautions should I take if I opt for home quarantine?
Apart from the physician’s instructions, those who are infected with coronavirus and opt for home quarantine, must follow:
- 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 8 hours, as per the instructions given by medical officer.
- Must drink lot of fluids and keep self hyderated, regularly monitor 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.
I am a caregiver for coronavirus patient. What precautions should I take?
- The caregiver should wear a triple layer mask whenever in the room with patient. Discard mask after use and avoid touching their own face, nose or mouth.
- Use gloves while handling the person. Follow hand hygiene routine before and after putting on and after removing the gloves.
- Avoid direct contact with bodily fluids, oral or respiratory secretions of the patient.
- Utensils and dishes used by the patient must be washed using gloves.
- Surfaces in the room occupied by the patient like tabletops, handles doorknobs, should be cleaned with a 1 percent hypochlorite solution.
- Hand hygiene must be meticulously followed at all times . Use disposable paper towels to dry hands after washing.
- Caregiver must also monitor their health and temperature and get tested immediately if they begin to show symptoms of COVID-19.
- Food must be provided to the patient in their room.
When can such patients seek medical assistance?
If at all the symptoms worsen in the following ways, they are to seek immediate medical attention:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Persistent pain/pressure in the chest
- Mental confusion
- Developing bluish discolourations of lips/face
However, if the treating officer advises them to seek help, they must do so.
When can home quarantine patients end their isolation?
Coronavirus patients can end home isolation when their symptoms are clinically resolved. Their surveillance medical officer is also required to give them a certificate stating that they are free of infection, along with laboratory testing.
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