The Union Ministry of Health on Monday issued new detailed guidelines for home isolation of people, who either have very mild symptoms of the coronavirus infection or are in the pre-symptomatic phase. The present guidelines are in addition to guidelines issued on April 7.
According to the new set of guidelines, the patient should be clinically assigned as a very mild case or pre-symptomatic case by the treating medical officer.
The patient should regularly inform his health status to the district surveillance officer for further follow up by the surveillance teams. Additionally, the caregiver and all close contacts of such cases should take hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis as per protocol and as prescribed by the treating medical officer.
Who is eligible for home isolation?
* The person should be clinically assigned as a very mild case or pre-symptomatic case by the treating medical officer.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
* Such cases should have the requisite facility at their residence for self-isolation and also for quarantining the family contacts.
Guidelines to follow during isolation
* A caregiver should be available to provide care around the clock. A communication link between the caregiver and hospital is a prerequisite for the entire duration of home isolation.
* The patient shall agree to monitor his health and regularly inform his health status to the District Surveillance Officer for further follow up by the surveillance teams.
* The patient will fill in an undertaking on self-isolation and shall follow home quarantine guidelines. Such individual shall be eligible for home isolation.
When must one seek medical attention?
Immediate medical attention must be sought if serious signs or symptoms develop:
* Difficulty in breathing
* Persistent pain/pressure in the chest
* Mental confusion or inability to arouse
* Developing bluish discolourations of lips/face
* As advised by treating medical officer
When can one discontinue home isolation?Patients will end home isolation if symptoms are clinically resolved and the surveillance medical officer certifies them to be free of infection after laboratory testing.