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Home stay, Hydroxychloroquine and Aarogya Setu: New guidelines for mild symptoms of coronavirus issued

Coronavirus in India: According to a new set of guidelines issued on Monday, the patient should be clinically assigned as a very mild case or pre-symptomatic case by the treating medical officer.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: April 28, 2020 12:06 IST
Home stay, Hydroxychloroquine and Aarogya Setu: New
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Home stay, Hydroxychloroquine and Aarogya Setu: New guidelines for mild symptoms of coronavirus issued

People who have very mild symptoms of coronavirus or those pre-symptomatic 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, the Union Health Ministry said. According to the new set of guidelines for people with mild symptoms of coronavirus issued on Monday, the patient should be clinically assigned as a very mild case or pre-symptomatic case by the treating medical officer. 

The patient should regularly inform his health status to the district surveillance officer for further follow up by the surveillance teams. The new guidelines are in addition to guidelines on appropriate management of suspect/confirmed case of COVID-19 issued by MoHFW on 7th April, according to which all suspected (awaiting test results) and confirmed cases of COVID-19 disease were being isolated and managed in a hospital setting with the intent to break the chain of transmission. However, as per the new guidelines, very mild/presymptomatic patients having the requisite facility at his/her residence for self-isolation will have the option for home isolation.

 Eligibility for home isolation

  • The person should be clinically assigned as a very mild case/ pre-symptomatic case by the treating medical officer.
  • Such cases should have the requisite facility at their residence for self-isolation and also for quarantining the family contacts.
  • A caregiver should be available to provide care on 24 x7 basis. A 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 prophylaxis as per protocol and as prescribed by the treating medical officer.
  • Download Arogya Setu App on mobile (available at: https://www.mygov.in/aarogya-setuapp/) and it should remain active at all times (through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi)
  • 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 (Annexure I) and shall follow home quarantine guidelines. Such individual shall be eligible for home isolation.
  • In addition to the guidelines on home-quarantine available at: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/Guidelinesforhomequarantine.pdf, the required instructions for the caregiver and the patient as in Annexure-II shall be also followed.

Home isolation: When to seek medical attention

Patient / Caregiver will keep monitoring their health. Immediate medical attention must be sought if serious signs or symptoms develop. These could include

  • Difficulty in breathing,
  • Persistent pain/pressure in the chest,
  • Mental confusion or inability to arouse,
  • Developing bluish discolorations of lips/face and
  •  As advised by treating medical officer

Also, 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.

All suspected (awaiting test results) and confirmed cases of COVID-19 disease are currently being isolated and managed in a hospital setting with the intent to break the chain of transmission, the ministry said.

As per existing guidelines, during the containment phase, the patients should be clinically assigned as very mild/mild, moderate or severe and accordingly admitted to COVID Care Centre, Dedicated COVID Health Centre or Dedicated COVID Hospital respectively.

"However, very mild/pre-symptomatic patients having the requisite facility at his/her residence for self-isolation will have the option for home isolation," the ministry stated.

As per the global evidence, 80 per cent of COVID cases are mild cases while the remaining 20 per cent may develop complications which would require hospitalisation. Out of the hospitalized cases of COVID-19, only 5 per cent may require ICU care.

According to experts, the primary treatment for COVID-19 is supportive treatment in more than 80 per cent of the patients and oxygen therapy in around 15 per cent of patients along with other drugs.

According to the new guidelines issued by the health ministry, a caregiver should be available to provide care on a 24x7 basis.

A communication link between the caregiver and hospital is a prerequisite for the entire duration of home isolation.

Monitoring home isolation on Aarogya Set App

Besides, the guidelines call for downloading the Arogya Setu App on mobile and it should remain active at all times (through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi).

Immediate medical attention must be sought if serious signs or symptoms including difficulty in breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, mental confusion, developing bluish discolorations of lips/face develop or if is advised by treating medical officer.

"Patients under home isolation will end home isolation if symptoms are clinically resolved and the surveillance medical officer certifies him to be free of infection after laboratory testing," the ministry stated.

The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 934 and the number of cases climbed to 29,435 in the country on Tuesday, according to the ministry.

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(PTI Inputs)

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