Looking after COVID 19 patients at home
What type of COVID 19 patients are eligible for home isolation?
If a COVID 19 patient (Detected by Positive Rapid Antigen Test or COVID 19 PCR Test) is;
- Asymptomatic (No symptoms) with Oxygen saturation above 96%
- Mildly Symptomatic (Mild Symptoms) with Oxygen saturation above 96% (Patients without shortness of breath on mild exertion, with or without fever, cold, slight cough etc.)
- Aged between 02 to 65 years
- Has no uncontrolled comorbidities (illnesses or related factors) such as morbid obesity (BMI>30), diabetes, chronic heart/lung/renal illnesses, or any other illnesses
- Not an immunocompromised patient or on any long term immunosuppressive therapy such as steroids
- If pregnant, gestational age should be below 24 weeks
They should also have;
- Isolated room facility with adequate ventilation and washroom facilities
- Adequate self-care or caregiver support at home
- Proper communication facilities and ability to communicate (Patient or caregiver)
- Given informed consent to are PHI/MOH via the relevant form that they are willing to have home isolation
Health authorities (Area Medical Officer of Health (MOH)) will review and advise on suitability for home isolation of COVID 19 patients. It is advised to contact health authorities as soon as you or a member of your family becomes COVID 19 positive.
How do you look after COVID 19 patients at home?
- Isolate the patient within the selected room that has a separate washroom facility
- Provide meals on separate utensils reserved especially for the patient. Meals should be handed over by a family member with minimal contact while wearing N95 or Surgical face mask.
- Disinfection by washing hands with soap or alcohol based disinfectant is necessary following each and every interaction with patient.
- Any item contaminated by the patient such as bedsheets or other utensils should be handled with gloves and disinfected carefully.
- The call center of the regional health authorities will review the condition of the patient daily, through a doctor. (It is important to register home isolation patients to health authorities for this to occur properly).
- Home isolation will continue up to 14 days for a patient to be discharged. However, in patients where symptoms of infection persist after 14 days, that patient will be monitored until the symptoms resolve.
- If a home isolation patient violates health authority instructions, they will be admitted immediately and legal action will be taken against them according to quarantine ordinance
- Other members who came into close contact with the patient should also undergo home quarantine.
What signs and symptoms do you have to watch out for in such patients?
Be on the vigil for any warning RED signs of:
- Progressive worsening of persisting symptoms (Eg. Cough / Fever)
- Difficulty in breathing at rest after mild exertion such as walking for a few meters within the room / after having a body wash / mild exercise etc.
- If a pulse oximeter (NMRA registered brand) is available, and Oxygen saturation is below 96% at rest or below 94% after mild exertion
- Persistent chest pain or heaviness
- Symptoms of dehydration
- Altered mental state (Confusion/drowsiness/irritability)
In case the patient has any of these signs:
- Immediately inform your MOH or PHI
- Call the Health Ministry hotline – 0117 966 366
- IF signs aggravate such as difficulty in breathing call 1990 Suwaseriya Ambulance for hospital admission.