The Odisha government on Monday allowed home isolation for novel coronavirus patients with mild or no symptoms, and urged corporates, central agencies and PSUs to create small facilities for treatment as cases continue to surge in the state. Stating that the existing resources can be properly utilised if the mild cases remain in home isolation, Chief Secretary A K Tripathy said beds at the COVID hospitals could then be available for critical patients.
As part of the state governments changed strategy, it is decided to allow home isolation of asymptomatic, mild symptomatic COVID-19 patients in urban areas, such as the 114 urban local bodies, district and sub-divisional headquarters and even block headquarters, Tripathy said during a briefing.
The chief secretary said staying at home would also help mitigate stress, and reduce the psychological burden on asymptomatic and the patients having mild symptoms.
A survey also suggests that patients with mild symptoms can recover fast in home isolation, he added.
Noting that about 80 per cent of the COVID-19 cases in the state are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, Tripathy said there was no need to keep them in hospital.
The state government has also received several requests from people to allow home isolation for such patients, he said.
The patients will be in home under active surveillance of the health authorities, the officer said, adding that there was less chance of secondary infection if a patient was treated at home.
Some members of the family will coordinate with the Health Department during the home isolation period, Tripathy said.
Stating that the COVID-19 management strategy needs to be calibrated, the chief secretary said airports, ports, railways, public sector undertakings, police, fire services, varsities, religious committees, resident welfare associations and NGOs with adequate healthcare facilities would be encouraged to set up COVID care centres.
They can take care of their own people and the state government will also facilitate them for setting up centres to treat mild cases with certain conditions, he said.
"We have different layers of infrastructure, which was planned well in advance to treat COVID-19 patients. There are COVID care centres and dedicated COVID hospitals and health centres" Tripathy said.
Though there are 5,432 beds in COVID hospitals, only 2,054 beds are currently occupied.
Similarly, only 116 patients have required ventilator facilities so far, he said.
However, the chief secretary said with the rise in the coronavirus cases, the beds may be fast filled up.
Odisha's recovery rate is 65 per cent and the fatality rate is 0.48 per cent, which is lowest in the country, he said.
Patients with comorbidities will, however, not be allowed home isolation, he said.
Local authorities, such as municipal commissioners and district collectors, will enforce the COVID guidelines for patients in home isolation, Tripathy said.