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Home Isolation for Covid Patients: Revised Guidelines

Revised guidelines regarding the home isolation of asymptomatic and mild-symptomatic COVID-19 patients were issued by the Centre on Wednesday. 

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Who is eligible for home isolation? 

  • If a patient’s case has been verified as asymptomatic/mildly symptomatic by the treating Medical Officer. 
  • If such patients have the required facilities at home for self-isolation and quarantining family contacts. 
  • If there is the availability of a care-giver on a 24×7 basis, with communication between the caregiver and hospital being a mandatory requirement throughout the duration of home isolation. 
  • The caregiver and all close contacts of the patient must take Hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis as protocol, as per the prescription of the Medical Officer. 
  • In the case of patients aged above 60 years with co-morbid ailments such as Cerebro-vascular disease, Heart disease, Hypertension, Diabetes, Chronic lung/liver/kidney disease and so on, a proper verification by the treating Medical Officer is mandatory for home isolation to be allowed. 

Home isolation can be discontinued when at least 10 days have passed from the onset of symptoms (date of sampling in the case of asymptomatic patients) and there has been no fever for the last 3 days. In the case of home isolation, testing is not necessary after the period of isolation has passed. 

How to treat patients in home isolation?  

    • Patients must be in regular contact with the treating Medical Officer and report any kind of allied issues or deterioration. 
    • Patients must follow symptomatic treatment methods for fever, running nose and cough. 
    • If fever cannot be controlled with a maximum dose of Tab. Paracetamol 650 mg four times a day, consult the treating doctor. Other medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) may be prescribed. (For instance, Tab. Naproxen 250 mg twice a day).
    • Taking Tab. Ivermectin (200 mcg/kg) on an empty stomach, once a day for 3 to 5 days can be considered.   
    • Inhalational Budesonide can be administered if fever or cough are persistent beyond 5 days of disease onset. It must be given via inhalers with a spacer, a dose of 800 mcg twice a day for 5 to 7 days. 
  • Systemic oral steroids must not be administered in mild disease. If symptoms persist beyond 7 days and symptoms such as fever and cough worsen, treatment with low dose oral steroids can be considered, ONLY with the consultation of the treating doctor. 
  • Procuring or administering Remdesivir at home is prohibited. The drug or any other investigational therapy must only be administered in a hospital setup with the decision to do so, taken by a medical professional.  
  • Patients can indulge in steam inhalation twice a day as well as warm water gargles. 
  • Patients may continue medications for other co-morbid illnesses after consultation with the treating Medical Officer.
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