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Doctors Give A Thumbs Up To The New Guideline On ‘Home Isolation For Mild Cases’, Says It Will Ease Burden On The Healthcare System

As the ministry of health and family welfare issued new guidelines for COVID-19 patients and how patients with very mild symptoms can opt for home isolation, NDTV speaks with top doctors to know if the new guidelines will ease the burden on healthcare staff

Doctors Give A Thumbs Up To The New Guideline On ‘Home Isolation For Mild Cases’, Says It Will Ease Burden On The Healthcare System
Highlights
  • On Tuesday, health ministry issued fresh guidelines for COVID-19 patients
  • COVID-19 patients with very mild symptoms can opt home isolation: Ministry
  • Doctors appreciate the health ministry revised strategy

New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday (April 28) issued fresh guidelines for coronavirus patients in which it allowed the COVID-19 infected patients who have very mild symptoms of the infection or are “pre-symptomatic” can opt for self-isolation at home. The guidelines stated that such patients should self-isolate themselves completely and not come in contact with other family members. NDTV speaks with top doctors to know more about the guidelines and will it ease the burden on our healthcare system? Here’s what the doctors said:

Also Read: New Guidelines By Health Ministry: COVID-19 Patients With Very Mild Symptoms Can Stay At Home, All You Need To Know

Explaining why the change in strategy for dealing with coronavirus pandemic that has been adopted by the health ministry recently, Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman & MD, Medanta said,

As of now, the COVID-19 infected patients were immediately isolated and admitted in hospitals, makeshift hospitals or wards dedicated to coronavirus patients in order to break the chain of transmission of the highly contagious virus. Now, we have to think above this and we have to get ready for life after lockdown. From our past cases and experience what we know is that the maximum number of people, nearly 80 per cent infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. Now, if we put all of them in hospitals, they occupy beds which are needed for treating sick patients. As a result, there is a lot more burden on our healthcare system. Now, with new guidelines in place which gives such patients an option of self-isolation at home, it eases the burden from our healthcare systems.

Also Read: India Fighting Coronavirus Outbreak: 5 Out Of 8 States In Northeast Declared Coronavirus-Free

Highlighting the rules of the new guideline on self-isolation, Dr Trehan added,

The rules announced by the health ministry for the self-isolation for COVID-19 patients who have mild symptoms are pretty strict. The patients just cannot opt for this on their own, first, they need to get a certificate from their medical officer stating clearly that they have a very mild case/pre-symptomatic case. Secondly, they need to fill an undertaking on self-isolation and that they shall follow home quarantine guidelines. Thirdly, they need to stay in touch with the government surveillance officer and hospital staff. Moreover, there are guidelines for the caretakers and people who come in contact with such patients, like all of them should take hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis as per protocol. The key here is to follow these guidelines – the patient needs to wear a three-layer mask always and anybody who comes in touch with them should also wear this three-layer mask and gloves. At this point in time, this is a very good strategy.

Also Read: Fighting COVID-19: What It Is Like To Live In A Coronavirus ‘Hotspot’

Talking about how the ministry of health has defined every guideline for home isolation very clearly, Dr Ashok Seth, Chairman, Fortis Escort added,

The guidelines are well defined and it is definitely a great idea because as soon as we open up the lockdown, the cases of coronavirus will pace up. We have seen in Europe and the United States how their healthcare system is overburdened, this is also being practiced by them in a way. Our ministry of health has defined it very clearly, only asymptomatic and very mild symptoms patients are allowed to opt-in for home isolation. The ministry has kept mild, moderate and severe symptoms patients separately, in the west, even patients with mild symptoms are being treated at home. We have these guidelines only for patients who have very mild symptoms.

Further explaining who is covered in the home isolation guidelines, Dr Seth said,

Very mild symptoms mean those patients who either have a mild fever, controllable fever, mild headache or body ache and cough and are not in any distress. Now, it is very important for such patients to know when they change such symptoms. If they develop symptoms like very high fever, chills followed by dehydration and delusion, pain in the chest, that is when they need to be shifted from home isolation to the required hospitals. Also, the health authorities and the medical officer is regularly checking on such patients. There is a daily, twice updation being done for such patients. So, this all is not at all an unsupervised treatment, such patients are continuously being monitored by the health authorities.

Highlighting the risk involved with very mild symptoms patients in home-isolation as the highly contagious infection can still spread to family members, Dr Trehan added,

Yes, there is absolutely a risk involved in treating or caretaking such patients. A lot of factors determine if this home isolation is good or not for an individual case, for people who don’t have separate rooms, this is a strict no-no. It is advised only for people who have isolation facilities at home to go ahead with this. Another important aspect of this guideline is that the patient and the caregiver should be thoroughly educated about the norms and what they have to follow, only then this will work. And the guidelines which have come from the health ministry are fairly detailed and explains what an individual needs to do in such scenarios.

Talking about the technology and innovations that the industry is working to make this home isolation work in the coming days, Dr Trehan said,

We are working on a technology, which hopefully will be out in some time, wherein, all the patients opting for home-isolation for very mild symptoms of COVID-19, will have to wear a patch, which will automatically detect patients temperature, coughing incidents and breathing speed. This doubly secure the patient sitting at home, as when these symptoms appear to rise, health authorities can be alerted immediately and the patient can be shifted to the hospital.

World

26,71,08,375Cases
22,77,48,418Active
3,40,89,137Recovered
52,70,820Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,71,08,375 and 52,70,820 have died; 22,77,48,418 are active cases and 3,40,89,137 have recovered as on December 8, 2021 at 3:48 am.

India

3,46,48,383 6,822Cases
95,0143,402Active
3,40,79,612 10,004Recovered
4,73,757 220Deaths
In India, there are 3,46,48,383 confirmed cases including 4,73,757 deaths. The number of active cases is 95,014 and 3,40,79,612 have recovered as on December 7, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,39,296 518

10,528 298

64,87,593 811

1,41,175 5

Kerala

51,69,198 3,277

41,386 2,724

50,86,044 5,833

41,768 168

Karnataka

29,98,400 301

7,096 65

29,53,067 359

38,237 7

Tamil Nadu

27,31,235 719

8,013 28

26,86,683 737

36,539 10

Andhra Pradesh

20,73,852 122

2,030 92

20,57,369 213

14,453 1

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,485 10

137 3

16,87,437 7

22,911

West Bengal

16,19,722 465

7,590 49

15,92,579 505

19,553 9

Delhi

14,41,398 40

344 26

14,15,955 65

25,099 1

Odisha

10,50,354 105

2,010 144

10,39,921 248

8,423 1

Chhattisgarh

10,07,011 44

337 7

9,93,081 37

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,920 29

221 0

9,45,743 28

8,956 1

Gujarat

8,27,745 38

350 1

8,17,300 37

10,095

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,258 17

137 4

7,82,593 13

10,528

Haryana

7,71,851 32

203 18

7,61,594 14

10,054

Bihar

7,26,244 7

28 2

7,14,126 5

12,090

Telangana

6,77,138 195

3,810 23

6,69,328 171

4,000 1

Assam

6,17,758 182

2,544 54

6,09,088 122

6,126 6

Punjab

6,03,509 21

333 28

5,86,565 46

16,611 3

Jharkhand

3,49,352 10

131 4

3,44,080 6

5,141

Uttarakhand

3,44,364 11

172 2

3,36,781 13

7,411

Jammu And Kashmir

3,37,915 108

1,661 45

3,31,771 151

4,483 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,630 112

776 21

2,23,001 90

3,853 1

Goa

1,79,209 35

413 1

1,75,409 34

3,387

Mizoram

1,36,784 330

3,120 19

1,33,156 310

508 1

Puducherry

1,29,093 8

250 30

1,26,968 38

1,875

Manipur

1,25,389 29

341 12

1,23,063 38

1,985 3

Tripura

84,866 8

93 3

83,948 5

825

Meghalaya

84,599 16

246 2

82,878 14

1,475

Chandigarh

65,500 12

62 4

64,618 8

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,294 1

35 1

54,979 2

280

Sikkim

32,374 5

214 1

31,755 6

405

Nagaland

32,140 4

120 3

31,321 1

699

Ladakh

21,723 9

270 25

21,238 34

215

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

0 0

10,679

4

Lakshadweep

10,404

10 0

10,343

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,690 2

3 1

7,558 3

129

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