COVID-19: Health Ministry issues revised guidelines for home isolation


Union Health Ministry, Government of India on April 28, 2021, issued revised guidelines for home isolation of clinically assigned mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 cases.

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister, Government of India tweeted, “Majority of COVID-19 patients do not require hospitalization and can recover at home maintaining utmost precaution.”

He urged to follow the revised guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for home isolation of patients clinically assigned as mild or asymptomatic.

What are clinically assigned mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 cases?

Asymptomatic COVID-19 cases are lab-confirmed cases in which patients are not exhibiting any symptoms and have oxygen saturation level at room air of more than 94%.

Clinically assigned mild COVID-19 cases comprise patients who are showing upper respiratory tract symptoms, fever but no shortness of breath. The oxygen saturation level in such cases is also at room air of more than 94%.

According to the revised guidelines by the Union Health Ministry:

•Patients administered with clinically assigned mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 infection by the treating medical officer are recommended for home isolation.

•There should be a requisite facility at the residence of the patient for home isolation as well as to quarantine their family members.

•A caretaker is a prerequisite. He or she should be available 24 hours, 7 days to administer care and establish a communication channel with the hospital during the home isolation.

•The caretaker shall wear a triple layer medical mask or N95 mask when in the same room with the patient, ensure hand hygiene, avoid any direct contact body fluids, wear disposable gloves, and practice effective immediate waste disposal to prevent further spread of infection.

•Elderly patients aged 60 and above and patients with co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, or heart, liver, lung, kidney diseases, hypertension, etc are to be allowed for home isolation only after being examined by the treating medical officer.

•Patients with immune-compromised conditions such as transplant recipients, cancer therapy, and HIV are also to be strictly examined by their treating medical officer before practising home isolation.

•Patients under home isolation are strictly advised that they do not attempt to procure or administer Remdesivir at home without consulting a medical professional. The decision to administer Remdesivir or any other therapy shall be taken by a medical professional in a hospital setting.

•Patients must isolate themselves from other family members, stay in a different room assigned for isolation that is well-kept and cross-ventilated.

•Patients must always wear a triple layer medical mask, keep themselves hydrated, practice hand hygiene, and do not share any personal items with anybody during the isolation.

•Patients will self-monitor their blood oxygen saturation levels with a pulse oximeter, take note of his or her daily temperature.

•In case of shortage of breath or persistent symptoms of fever, worsening cough, or pain in the chest, patients should consult their treating medical officer.

When to discontinue home isolation?

Patients will be discharged by their treating medical officer and can end their home isolation after at least 10 days from the time of onset of symptoms and no fever for 3 days. The guidelines state that there is no need to get tested after the home isolation ends.

All the family members and close contacts of the patients shall be evaluated by the field staff when ending home isolation.

India COVID-19 Tracker

As of April 30, 2021, India recorded 1,87,62,976 confirmed cases of which 1,53,84,418 cases recovered from the infection and 2,08,330 people died so far.

In the past 24 hours, 2,97, 540 recovered cases were reported by the health ministry.

Currently, the country is battling 31,70,228 active COVID-19 cases.

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