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New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry has issued revised guidelines for home isolation of mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. As per the guidelines, the COVID patients must isolate themselves from other household members, stay in the identified room and away from other people in home, especially elderly and those with co-morbid conditions. Self-monitoring of blood oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter for the patient is advised. 

The patient and care giver must seek immediate medical attention if serious signs or symptoms develop. These could include unresolved high-grade fever of more than 100° F for more than three days, difficulty in breathing, dip in oxygen saturation, persistent pain in the chest and severe fatigue and myalgia. The caregiver should wear a triple layer medical mask and the hand hygiene must be ensured following contact with ill person or his immediate environment. 

The guidelines say the patients must be in communication with a treating Medical Officer and promptly report in case of any deterioration during home isolation. They will follow symptomatic management for fever, running nose and cough.
 
The Ministry said, for home isolation, the patients should be clinically assigned as mild or asymptomatic case by the treating Medical Officer and  they  should have the requisite facility at their residence for self-isolation. The elderly patients aged more than 60 years and those with co-morbid conditions including Hypertension, Diabetes, Heart disease, Chronic lung and kidney disease and Cerebrovascular disease will only be allowed home isolation after proper evaluation by thetreating medical officers. Patients suffering from immune compromised status including HIV, transplant recipients, cancer therapy are not recommended for home isolation. 

The guidelines say that the patients under home isolation will stand discharged and  end isolation after at least seven days have passed from testing positive and  no fever for three successive days. There is no need for retesting after the home isolation period is over. 
 
The Health Ministry added that district and sub-district control rooms will be made operational and their telephone numbers should be well publicized in public so that people under home-isolation may contact the control rooms for seamless transfer of patients through ambulance from home to the dedicated hospital. These control rooms will also make outbound calls to the patients under home isolation to monitor their status. The district administration will also monitor all cases under home isolation on a daily basis.



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