Amidst the rising Omicron cases in the country, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday, January 05, 202, released revised guidelines for mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 cases.

According to the latest guidelines, the patient under home isolation stands discharged following the completion of seven days in isolation with no fever for three successive days as a prerequisite condition.

“There is no need for re-testing after the home isolation period is over,” the revised rules from the Health Ministry reads.

The revised rules from Health Ministry stands applicable to patients who have been clinically assessed and are not experiencing any symptoms and have oxygen saturation at room air of more than 93%.

“Clinically assigned mild cases are patients with upper respiratory tract symptoms with or without fever, without shortness of breath and having oxygen saturation at room air of more than 93%,” the guideline states.

Under the revised guidelines, following the proper evaluation by the treating medical officer, elderly patients aged more than 60 years and those with co-morbid conditions, Cerebrovascular disease, etc., shall be permitted for home isolation.

The guideline further stressed on continuous use of a triple-layer medical mask by the patient at the time of self-isolation or home quarantine. In case of urgent contact with the other family members, both may prefer using an N-95 mask.

Emphasizing the importance of COVID appropriate behavior at the time of home isolation, the guideline further called on the patient to follow respiratory etiquettes and undertake frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 40 seconds or clean with an alcohol-based sanitizer.

The guideline further seeks immediate medical attention to the patient ‘if any deterioration of symptom is noticed’ which include unresolved High-grade fever (more than 100° F for more than 3 days), difficulty in breathing, dip in oxygen saturation, and persistent pain/pressure in the chest.

Instructions for Care Giver:

Under the revised set of guidelines, instructions were provided to the caregiver like avoiding direct contact with the body fluids of the patient and the use of disposable gloves should be a must while handling the patient.

“Use a triple-layer medical mask and disposable gloves while cleaning or handling surfaces, clothing or linen used by the patient,” the Health Ministry stated.

Treatment for patients with mild /asymptomatic disease in home isolation:

Following the diagnosis of the disease, do not rush for self-medication unless consulted by your treating medical officer.
“Information floating through social media mentioning non-authentic and non-evidence-based treatment protocols can harm patients. Misinformation leading to the creation of panic and in-turn undertaking tests and treatment which are not required has to be avoided,” the guideline notes.

The guideline further specifies inappropriate use of steroids may lead to additional complications, as its consumption is not indicated in mild disease.

According to the guidelines, in case of patients suffering from other co-morbidities, he/she can continue the medications after consulting the treating Medical Officer.

The revised guidelines also called for combined efforts of district administrations in curtailing the spread of the virus. According to the guidelines, the district administration should monitor all cases under home isolation on a daily basis.

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