Coronavirus patients can now end their home isolation after 10 days of the onset of symptoms and if they have had no fever for three days, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in its revised guidelines released on Thursday. Patients will also not be required to take a coronavirus test after their isolation period is over.
The Centre’s previous guidelines had allowed patients to come out of isolation only after 17 days of the onset of symptoms and if they had had no fever for 10 days.
Patients over the age of 60 and those with comorbidities will be allowed to isolate at home only after examination by the medical officer treating them, the health ministry added. Immunocompromised patients are not allowed home isolation.
The health ministry also said that district surveillance officers must keep a check on all patients under home isolation. “The clinical status of each case shall be recorded by the field staff/call center (body temperature, pulse rate and oxygen saturation),” the health ministry said. “The field staff will guide the patient on measuring these parameters and provide the instructions (for patients and their caregivers). This mechanism to daily monitor those under home isolation shall be strictly adhered to.”
Only asymptomatic patients or those experiencing mild symptoms are allowed home quarantine. The guidelines, however, mandate that patients seek urgent medical care if they experience difficulty in breathing and chest pain, among other symptoms.
Only patients who have appropriate isolation facilities at home are allowed to stay out of institutional quarantine. These include access to a separate well-ventilated room and washrooms.
India reported 20,903 new coronavirus cases and 379 deaths on Friday. The country’s overall count rose to 6,25,544 and the toll reached 18,213. More than 3.79 lakh people have recovered from the coronavirus so far.