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When Can COVID Patients End Home Isolation? Know Health Ministry’s Latest Advisory

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New Delhi: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday stated that COVID patients can end home isolation seven days after testing positive if they don’t get a fever for three successive days. Following this, no re-testing is required.

COVID-19 patients clinically assigned as mild/asymptomatic are eligible for home isolation. The patients aged above 60 years and those with comorbidities are allowed home isolation only after a proper evaluation by the treating medical officer.

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On home isolation of COVID patients, the Union Health Ministry stated that the home isolation will be over after seven days pass from testing positive without getting a fever for three successive days, after which, no re-testing is required.

Asymptomatic contacts need not take a COVID test, it informed, as reported by news agency ANI.

This statement comes after the ministry on Wednesday shared revised guidelines for home isolation on its website.

According to the detailed norms, following COVID patients under home isolation need to follow the following instructions

  • Patients must isolate themselves from other household members, stay in the identified room and away from other people at home, especially elderly and those with comorbid conditions like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, renal disease etc.
  • The patient should stay in a well-ventilated room with cross ventilation and windows should be kept open to allow fresh air to come in.
  • Patient should at all times use triple-layer medical mask. They should discard mask after 8 hours of use or earlier if the mask becomes wet or is visibly soiled. In the event of Caregiver entering the room, both Caregiver and patient may preferably consider using N-95 mask.
  • Mask should be discarded after cutting them to pieces and putting in a paper bag for a minimum of 72 hours.
  • Patient must take rest and drink a lot of liquids to maintain adequate hydration. Follow respiratory etiquettes at all times.
  • Undertake frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 40 seconds or clean with alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • The patients shall not share personal items including utensils with other people in the household.
  • Need to ensure cleaning of frequently touched surfaces in the room (tabletops, doorknobs, handles, etc.) with soap/detergent & water. The cleaning can be undertaken either by the patient or the caregiver duly following required precautions such as use of masks and gloves.
  • Self-monitoring of blood oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter for the patient is advised.
  • The patient shall self-monitor his/her health with daily temperature monitoring and report promptly if any deterioration of symptom is noticed. The status shall be shared with the treating Medical Officer as well as surveillance teams/Control room.

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Treatment for patients with mild/ asymptomatic disease in home isolation:

  • Steroids are not indicated in mild disease and shall not be self-administered. Overuse & inappropriate use of steroids may lead to additional complications.
  • Treatment for every patient needs to be monitored individually as per the specific condition of the patient concerned and hence generic sharing of prescriptions shall be avoided.
  • In case of falling oxygen saturation or shortness of breath, the person may require hospital admission and shall seek immediate consultation of their treating Medical Officer/surveillance team/Control room.

When To Seek Medical Attention

The COVID patient’s health parameters need to be routinely monitored. Immediate medical attention is advised if serious signs or symptoms develop which include:

  • Unresolved High-grade fever (more than 100° F for more than 3 days).
  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Dip in oxygen saturation (SpO2 ≤ 93% on room air at least 3 readings within 1 hour) or respiratory rate > 24/min.
  • Persistent pain/pressure in the chest.
  • Mental confusion or inability to arouse.
  • Severe fatigue and myalgia.

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