FAQ: I Am Under Home Isolation With COVID-19 – What Must I Know?
Here’s all you need to know about the Centre’s revised rules for home quarantine.
Stating that a large number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 showed no symptoms, the Union Health Ministry revised home isolation guidelines to include asymptomatic patients, along with mild and pre-symptomatic cases.
The revised guidelines has also reduced the number of days by which the coronavirus patients can end their home isolation and can be considered discharged.
Here’s all you need to know about the revised guidelines issued on 2 July.
Who is eligible for home quarantine, if they test positive for novel coronavirus?
- 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 immune compromised are not eligible for home isolation. This includes those who are undergoing HIV, transplant recipients, cancer treatment
What about asymptomatic patients? Can they be home quarantined?
Yes, asymptomatic people along with mild and pre-symptomatic ones can be home quarantined.
I have been home quarantined. Under what circumstances should I seek medical help?
The Centre has said that home quarantined people should seek immediate medical help if they experience the following:
- 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
When can coronavirus patients end home isolation?
Patients can end their home isolation and stand 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 home isolation period is over.
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 eight hours, as per the instructions given by 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
I am a caregiver for coronavirus patients. What precautions should I take?
- The caregiver should wear a triple-layer mask whenever in the room with a 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 door knobs, 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
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