Department of Health advises when COVID patients can end home isolation, if they need to get tested again

New Delhi: The Department of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday that COVID patients can end home isolation seven days after testing positive if they do not have a fever for three consecutive days. After that, no further testing is necessary.

COVID-19 patients clinically designated as mild/asymptomatic are eligible for home isolation. Patients over the age of 60 and those with co-morbidities are only permitted to self-isolate after appropriate assessment by the attending physician.

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Regarding the home isolation of COVID patients, the Union Health Ministry said that the home isolation will be ended after seven days after testing positive without fever for three consecutive days, after which no further testing will be done. is necessary.

Asymptomatic contacts do not need to take a COVID test, he advised, as reported by news agency ANI.

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

According to the detailed standards, the following COVID patients placed in home isolation should follow the following steps instructions:

  • Patients should isolate themselves from other household members, stay in the identified room and away from other people at home, especially the elderly and those with comorbid conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, kidney diseases, etc.
  • The patient should stay in a well-ventilated room with cross ventilation, and windows should be kept open to allow fresh air to enter.
  • The patient should use a three-layer medical mask at all times. They should discard the mask after 8 hours of use or sooner if the mask becomes damp or visibly soiled. If the caregiver enters the room, the caregiver and patient can preferably consider using an N-95 mask.
  • Masks should be discarded after cutting them into pieces and putting them in a paper bag for at least 72 hours.
  • The patient should rest and drink plenty of fluids to maintain adequate hydration. Follow respiratory etiquette at all times.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 40 seconds or clean with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Patients should not share personal items, including utensils, with other household members.
  • Need to ensure cleaning of frequently touched surfaces in the room (table tops, doorknobs, handles, etc.) with soap/detergent and water. Cleaning can be done either by the patient or by the caregiver, duly following the required precautions such as the use of masks and gloves.
  • Self-monitoring of blood oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter for the patient is advised.
  • The patient should self-monitor their health with daily temperature monitoring and promptly report any worsening of symptoms. The status must be shared with the treating medical advisor as well as with the surveillance/control room teams.

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Treatment of patients with mild/asymptomatic illness in home isolation:

  • Steroids are not indicated in mild illnesses and should not be self-administered. Excessive and inappropriate use of steroids can lead to additional complications.
  • The treatment of each patient should be individually monitored according to the specific condition of the patient involved and therefore generic sharing of prescriptions should be avoided.
  • In the event of a drop in oxygen saturation or shortness of breath, the person may require hospitalization and immediately consult their treating physician/surveillance team/control room.

When to consult a doctor

The health parameters of the COVID patient should be monitored regularly. Immediate medical attention is advised if serious signs or symptoms develop, including:

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

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