Kohima: Any COVID-19 patient who is clinically declared asymptomatic and is not immunocompromised can now apply for home isolation, as per the state government’s latest standard operating procedure (SOP).
A government notification for home isolation of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases came into effect on Wednesday.
According to the state government, most COVID-19 cases reported in the state are asymptomatic, which does not require hospitalisation. There is need to decongest the district hospitals which have been designated as COVID hospitals, to provide care to more severe cases and resumption of essential health services.
Immunocompromised patients (HIV, Transplant recipients, Cancer therapy etc.) are not eligible.
Elderly patients and people with Hypertension, Diabetes, Heart disease, Chronic lung / liver kidney disease etc. shall only be allowed after proper evaluation by the treating medical officer.
However, there should be an appropriate facility & logistics for home isolation. A single bedroom with proper ventilation is mandatory, and there should preferably be an attached bathroom. Sharing of the bathroom will be allowed subject to strict adherence to the infection control measures, and appropriate disinfectants must be made available.
Sufficient quantities of masks and gloves must be available at home. Fingertip pulse oximeter and thermometer may preferably be kept ready. If more than one member in a family is tested positive and are eligible for home isolation, room sharing may be allowed.
Procedure of approval for home isolation:
After testing positive, the patient needs to apply for home isolation to the district surveillance officer with a copy to the village council/town council/municipal council. A medical team will then inspect his/her house and certify that it is fit for home isolation.
The inspection team should wear masks and avoid any physical contact during the visit.
The surveillance is categorized into three types: Digital surveillance, community and medical surveillance. As per the SOP, it will be mandatory for the patient in home isolation to download the nCOVID Nagaland App and enter into the App twice daily his symptom until discharge from home isolation.
The Village Council/Town Council/Municipal Council will immediately report any violation of home isolation to the District Task Force. On receiving the medical surveillance team and District Task Force will be alerted for such report, appropriate contact tracing, isolation/quarantine, testing, and containment measures.
Each patient in home isolation will also be linked to a designated COVID Hospital. Ambulance service and relevant mobile numbers should be made available to the patient at the start of home isolation. Telephonic monitoring of symptoms by the medical team will continue in addition to the digital surveillance.
The patient should also not move out of the isolation room during the entire duration of isolation except in circumstances where the bathroom is located away from the room. If bathroom is shared, it should be disinfected after each use with appropriate disinfectant.
The caregiver of the patient will avoid physical contact and maintain physical distancing when providing care. Food may be served in disposable containers and should be delivered at the door without entering the room. The cleaning works such as washing of utensils, used linen/ clothes, disinfection of frequently touched surfaces should be done by the patient in isolation to avoid contact with caregiver.
Duration of Home Isolation:
The duration of home isolation will be for 14 days, if there is no symptom throughout the period; which will be followed by 14 days home quarantine. If symptoms develop during the isolation period, patient will be shifted to COVID Hospital.
But if the symptom is very mild and medical officer advises continued home isolation, the patient will continue isolation for 10 more days from the onset of symptom and the patient should not have had fever at least for the last 3 days. This will be followed by 14 days home quarantine.
After home isolation, testing is not recommended by Government of India. But the State testing policy for discharge of confirmed cases will be followed, as revised from time to time.
The violators of the provisions of the SOP will be penalized as per the relevant section of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the Nagaland Epidemic Disease (COVID-19) Regulations, 2020