Centre asks states to strictly follow home-isolation guidelines to curb COVID-19 spread

PTI

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The Centre has asked states to ensure implementation of its guidelines on home isolation at the field level “in letter and spirit” to effectively contain the spread of the coronavirus, after taking note of instances of laxity.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued revised guidelines for home isolation on May 10 which continue to be effective as on date, an official statement said Friday.

According to the guidelines, very mild and pre-symptomatic COVID-19 patients can opt for home isolation, provided the patient has a room for himself/herself with toilet facility and has an adult attendant or caregiver.

Also, the patient should agree to monitor his/her health and regularly inform the status to the district surveillance officer for follow-up by surveillance teams.

An important clause in the revised guidelines is that the treating doctor should be satisfied about the patient opting for home isolation based on medical assessment and assessment of his/her residential accommodation, the government said.

In addition, the patient should fill in an undertaking on self-isolation and should follow home quarantine guidelines, it said.

“In this regard, some instances have been noticed wherein home isolation is allowed in a routine manner in certain states, and clauses of the revised guidelines are not followed in letter and spirit,” it said.

This may lead to spread of the disease within the family members and neighbours, more so in urban settings such as dense urban agglomerations, the Centre said, adding the Health Ministry has requested states to ensure strict implementation of the guidelines at the field level to effectively curb spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have collectively been following the policy of test, trace, track and isolate and the same may not be feasible if the guidelines issued are not implemented in letter and spirit,” Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal in his letter to states said.

“It is again reiterated that the urban congested settlements exercising the option of the home isolation may result in patient spreading the infection to family members and in the neighbourhood. In this context, it is requested to ensure strict implementation of the guidelines on home isolation at the field level,” he said.

PTI