All mild or asymptomatic patients in home isolation need to comply with these latest guidelines.
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued new guidelines pertaining to the home isolation of COVID patients. These norms guide the infected patients, their caretakers and the state, to ensure safe and timely treatment of those people, identified as mild or asymptomatic, clinically. Ranging from precautions to medicines, the Union has revised and reissued a detailed set of protocols after 9 months, that flow as stated below.
Revised guidelines for home-isolated COVID patients
- COVID patient(s) must isolate themselves from household members, especially the elderly and those with co-morbid conditions like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, renal disease etc
- Stay in a well-ventilated, identified room. All windows must be kept to allow cross ventilation to facilitate fresh air
- An N-95 mask should be preferred by caretakers and patients when in contact
- Take rest and consume a lot of fluids to maintain adequate hydration
- Follow respiratory etiquettes at all times
- Hands must be cleaned frequently, for 40 seconds with soap and water. An alcohol-based sanitiser is prescribed for the patients and caretakers
- Don't share personal items with other people in the household
- Ensure cleaning of surfaces in the room that are touched often (tabletops, doorknobs, handles, etc.) with 1% hypochlorite solution
- Masks should be treated with 1% Sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) solution before they are discarded
- Self-monitoring of blood oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter is strongly advised
- Self-monitor health with daily temperature monitoring and report promptly if any of the following critical symptoms are observed:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Dip in oxygen saturation (SpO2 < 94% on room air)
- Persistent pain/pressure in the chest
- Mental confusion or inability to arouse
Guidelines for caretakers
- Caretakers of COVID patients must ensure that they are always wearing a triple layer mask and an N-95 when in the company of the patient
- A mask must be immediately changed if it's soiled with secretion or any other way. Caretakers need to ensure that they are not touching the front of the mask
- After removing or changing maks, getting in contact with the patient and before/after using the toilet, the caretaker must perform hand hygiene
- Use soap and water for handwashing at least for 40 seconds. An alcohol-based hand rub can be used if hands are not visibly soiled. Use disposable paper towels to wipe hands, instead of a clean cloth.
- Caretakers have to make sure that they avoid touching their own face, nose or mouth.
- Direct contact with the patient or their body fluids, particularly oral or respiratory secretions must be avoided.
- Wear disposable gloves while handling the patient. Follow hand hygiene each time after removing gloves.
- Food needs to be provided in the room and utensils should be cleaned with help of soap or detergent. Wear gloves while washing these plates.
- Effective waste disposal shall be ensured so as to prevent the further spread of infection within the household. The waste (masks, disposable items, food packets etc.) should be disposed of as per CPCB guideline
All other guidelines for the medical treatment of COVID positive patients are listed in the PDF below. This includes the eligibility of home-isolated patients, monitoring charts and state's roles, among other details. These guidelines also add that home isolation can be discontinued when the patient stops exhibiting any virus symptoms for a period of 10 days. There is no need for testing after the home isolation period is over.