COVID-19 home isolation: All you need to know about new guidelines for patients, caregivers

With the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic where over three lakh people test positive every 24 hours, the Central government has issued several new guidelines for home isolation. People with mild symptoms generally do not require hospitalisation and recover at home without the support of any advanced medical care.

The guidelines were also issued during the first wave, however, as new and updated information about the pandemic comes to light, home isolation instructions have been updated. Here are a few guidelines laid by the Central government for home isolation:

Who is eligible for home isolation?

Patients who have been clinically assigned as mild or asymptomatic can be under home isolation given that they have the facility to isolate at home. They should have a caregiver at all times. Elderly patients and those who have conditions that compromise the immune system can isolate at home if the treating physician approves it.

How should a COVID-19 patient isolate?

COVID-19 patients should be isolated in a separate room away from their other family members. This room should be well-ventilated. The guidelines say that windows should be kept open to allow fresh air to come inside the room.

What is the guideline regarding face masks for COVID-19 patients and their caregivers?

Mask should not be used for over 8 hours and should be discarded if it gets wet or soiled. Patients are directed to wear a triple-layer mask. Caregivers who come in close contact with patients should also wear a mask. Both patients and caregivers can wear N-95 face masks. Before they are discarded, masks should be treated with one percent sodium hypochlorite.

What are the instructions for patients in home isolation?

Patients are directed to update their treating physician with their condition regularly. Those who have comorbidities should consult a physician before taking additional medicines.

According to the new guidelines, if fever is not under control even after the consumption of 650 mg paracetamol four times a day then the patient should seek help from the doctor.

Updated guidelines also state that in case of a fever, doctors can consider giving drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID).

Those who experience breathing difficulty or chest pain should immediately inform their doctor and seek medical help.

What is the recommended treatment for patients in home isolation?

Along with the prescribed medicines, patients have also been advised to take steam twice a day or may use warm water to gargle.

What is the guideline for taking Remdesivir?

Only the treating physician or a medical professional can take the decision regarding Remdesivir. The latest guidelines say that patients should not be given Remdesivir at home as it must be administered in a hospital setting.

Should you get tested again for COVID-19 after the home isolation period gets over?

As per the latest guidelines, people who got infected with the coronavirus do not need to have a repeat test when the home isolation period gets over.