The Health and Family Welfare Ministry has issued revised guidelines for home isolation of very mild, pre-symptomatic, asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. The guidelines have been extended to asymptomatic positive cases along with very mild and pre-symptomatic cases keeping in view the detection of a large number of asymptomatic cases in the country.
In the revised guidelines, the Ministry said, those patients are eligible for home isolation, who are clinically assigned as a very mild, pre-symptomatic, asymptomatic case by the treating medical officer. It states that such cases should have the requisite facility at their residence for self-isolation and also for quarantining the family contacts.
The Ministry also said, patients suffering from immune compromised status like HIV, transplant recipients, cancer therapy are not eligible for home isolation. Elderly patients aged more than 60 years and those with co-morbid conditions shall only be allowed home isolation after proper evaluation by the treating medical officer. The Ministry suggested, the caregiver and all close contacts of such cases should take Hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis as prescribed by the medical officer.
In case of developing serious signs or symptoms, the Ministry has advised to seek immediate medical attention. These symptoms are difficulty in breathing, dip in oxygen saturation, persistent pain and pressure in the chest, mental confusion, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in any limb or face and bluish discolorations of lips and face.
The guidelines also state that a patient under home isolation will stand discharged after 10 days of symptom onset and no fever for three days. Thereafter, the patient will be advised to isolate at home and self-monitor their health for further seven days and there is no need for testing after the home isolation period is over.
The Ministry has laid down detailed protocol for monitoring of cases under home isolation. It asked the State and District administration to monitor the health status of those under home isolation by the field staff and surveillance teams on a daily basis. The clinical status of each case shall be recorded by the field staff and all family members and close contacts shall be monitored and tested as per protocol.