DELHI: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has revised its guidelines for home isolation of very mild or pre-symptomatic Covid-19 patients.The revised guidelines have allowed mild or pre-symptomatic patients to opt for self-isolation at their homes. Pre-symptomatic patients can transmit the infection before the onset of symptoms.

Earlier, in April, it was reported that the government was considering a change in its policy, limiting hospitalisation to patients who really needed it in order to rationalise the use of hospital beds. The decision to keep patients facing milder symptoms at home was also considered to help lower the risk of infection for frontline workers.

All suspected and confirmed Covid-19 cases are currently being isolated and managed in a hospitalised setting. As per the existing guidelines, cases should first be clinically assigned as mild, moderate or severe and accordingly be admitted either to a Covid-19 care centres, dedicated health care centres or hospitals.

As per guidelines, the following people are eligible for home isolation:

i. The person should be clinically assigned as a very mild case/ pre-symptomatic case by the treating medical officer.

ii. Such cases should have the requisite facility at their residence for self-isolation and also for quarantining the family contacts.

iii. A caregiver should be available to provide care on a 24×7 basis. A communication link between the caregiver and hospital is a prerequisite for the entire duration of home isolation.

iv. The caregiver and all close contacts of such cases should take Hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis as per protocol and as prescribed by the treating medical officer.

v. Patients are also required to download the Arogya Setu App on their mobile phones.

vi. 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.

vii. The patient will fill in an undertaking on self-isolation and shall follow home quarantine guidelines.

When should mild or pre-symptomatic patients seek medical attention?

Mild or pre-symptomatic Covid-19 patients should seek medical attention if they have difficulty in breathing, feel a persistent pressure or pain in the chest, experience mental confusion or inability to arouse, in case they develop bluish colouration of the lips or the face, or if advised by their treating medical officer.

To read further about the guidelines, click on the link below