While world scientists and medical experts are trying to come up with a vaccine to cure the pandemic Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other medical organisations are in full swing spreading the COVID-19 awareness.
Since the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus, worldwide, every individual, government and medical staff are on their toes to curb the spread and cure as many as possible.
Till date, worldwide 17.5 million people are infected and more than 6 million lost lives due to the deadly virus.
In India only, the positive cases crossed 16 lakhs including 5 lakh plus active cases. In such scenario, availability of hospital beds and treatment for mild or asymptomatic patients is a big question. Due to the lack of beds and medical staff, almost every state governments announced home isolation for mild or asymptomatic patients.
However, for such patients, there are a few things which needs to be taken care of. One such thing is self care and awareness regarding do’s and dont’s during self isolation.
What are the conditions for home isolation for COVID-19 patients?
- Only those who are asymptomatic or mild symptomatic shall be allowed to be in isolation at home
- They shall be oriented to the protocol of home isolation
- The health team from district health authority/ BBMP/ authorised private institution/agency shall visit the house and assess the suitability of the house for home isolation and also do a triage of the person.
- A dedicated tele-monitoring link shall be established for daily follow-up of the person during the entire period of home isolationThe person shall report to the physician/ health authorities about their health status every day
- The person shall have pulse oximeter, digital thermometer and personal protective equipment (facemasks, gloves) to be used during home isolation.
- The release of the person from home isolation shall be as per the State’s existing discharge protocol for COVID-19 (mentioned later in this article). Home isolation will be with the knowledge of the family members, neighbours, treating physician and the local health authorities.
Th Ministry of Home and Family Welfare (MoHFW) issued guidelines for home isolation:
- Asymptomatic positive patients will now be included in the list of mild or pre-symptomatic coronavirus infection cases
- Patients suffering from immune-compromised status (like HIV, transplant recipients, cancer therapy) will not be eligible for home isolation
- Elderly patients aged more than 60 years and those with co-morbid conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung/liver/kidney disease and cerebrovascular disease among others shall only be allowed home isolation after proper evaluation by the treating medical officer
- Patients under home isolation will stand discharged after 10 days of onset of symptoms and no fever for three days
- Following discharge, the patient will be advised to isolate at home and self-monitor their health for a further of seven days. There is no need for testing after the home isolation period is over
- Asymptomatic patients like the ones who are pre-symptomatic and have very mild symptoms can opt for home isolation if they have the requisite self-isolation facility at their residence so as to avoid contact with other family members
- A caregiver should be available to provide care on 24×7 basis and communication link between the caregiver and hospital is a prerequisite for the entire duration of home isolation
- The caregiver and all close contacts of such cases should take hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medication according to the protocol and as prescribed by the treating medical officer
- The Arogya Setu mobile application should be downloaded by all and that it should remain active at all times (through Bluetooth and wi-fi)
- Patients should monitor their health and regularly inform the health status to the district surveillance officer, who will facilitate further follow up by the surveillance teams
- The patient also has to give an undertaking stating being diagnosed as a confirmed/suspect case of COVID-19, he/she hereby voluntarily undertake to maintain strict self-isolation at all times for the prescribed period.
- Immediate medical attention must be sought if serious signs or symptoms, including difficulty in breathing, dip in oxygen saturation, persistent pain/pressure in the chest, mental confusion or inability to arouse, slurred speech/seizures, weakness or numbness in any limb or face and developing bluish discolorations of lips/face
- States and districts should monitor all such cases, and the health status of those under home isolation should be monitored by the field staff/surveillance teams through personal visits along with a dedicated call center to follow up on the patients on a daily basis
- The clinical status of each case should be recorded by the field staff/call center (body temperature, pulse rate and oxygen saturation)
- The field staff will guide the patient on measuring these parameters and provide the instructions (for patients and their caregivers)
- Details about patients under home isolation should also be updated on COVID-19 portal and facility app (with DSO as user)
- The mechanism to shift the patient in case of violation or need for treatment has to be established and implemented
- All family members and close contacts shall be monitored and tested as per protocol by the field staff
Besides, tips for people who are mild or asymptomatic of Coronavirus is to boost the immunity system and wear face masks.
The Central Government advised people to follow social vaccines and prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19. For COVID-19 patients, social distancing is the primary strategy which is being advised to be followed.
Social distancing of minimum 2 feet is helpful to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
As the name suggests, it calls for people to increase the space between one another and to avoid gatherings and crowds. Distance between individuals is said to be helpful to break the chain of being infected from person to person.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says people should maintain a distance of six feet from others when possible.
In regard to this, many essential business and workplace implemented work from home, scheduled shifts with less work force and implementation of social distancing.
As per medical experts, if social distancing is effective, we might flatten the curve of the spread of the virus.
It would also help healthcare facilities and frontline workers like police, medical staff, doctors and sanitary staff to cope up with the situation and continue their work with less people being infected.
What are the ways which could help to prevent spread of the virus?
Stay six feet away from other people
Frequently wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water
How to practice social distancing and what could be done staying indoors?
Well, for people staying indoors is a big challenge. With a majority of public places like shopping malls, theatres, parks and others being shut, people are being anxious and frustrated about isolation and quarantine.
Here are some of the things and hobbies which might help you to relax and cope up with the lockdown scenario:
Video call with friends and family
Watch movies and TV shows
Read a book
Go for a walk / run / bike ride
Create new food recipes
Follow the social vaccine and stay safe and healthy during this pandemic crisis of the Novel Coronavirus.
Stay tuned for further updates.