BENGALURU: Tweaking its strategy in tackling Covid-19, the State Government on Friday announced that henceforth, asymptomatic patients and people with mild symptoms who are aged below 50, but with no comorbidities, will be kept under home isolation. Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar told reporters on Friday after a Covid task force meeting that fresh guidelines have been issued in this regard.
“Those aged below 50, are asymptomatic and have oxygen saturation above 95% will be placed under home isolation. Those aged over 50, or with comorbidities, will be placed in Covid care centres irrespective of whether they are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. Patients with moderate symptoms and aged below 50 will also be in Covid care centres. Only those with serious symptoms and oxygen saturation below 90%will be in hospitals,” he explained.
As per the new guidelines, the patient should report every day to the physician or health authorities and have a pulse oximeter, digital thermometer and PPE. A caregiver should be available 24/7, with regular communication links between the caregiver and hospital. An e-tag band will be put on the left wrist to alert authorities about violation of home isolation.The health staff will assess health factors using thermal scanner for fever, pulse oximetry for oxygen saturation levels, glucometer for random blood sugar and BP apparatus for recording blood pressure.
Covid patients’ homes to be assessed before isolation
Those under home quarantine should not have comorbid conditions such as kidney disease requiring dialysis, heart disease, stroke, tuberculosis, cancer, HIV, and should not be immune-compromised, on steroids or immunosuppressants. A team from the district health authority or BBMP will visit the house and assess suitability for home isolation and a tele-consultation link will be established. The patients must have a separate well-ventilated room for isolation with an attached toilet.
The caregivers must also wear N95 masks when in the same room with the ill person. Utensils used by the patient should be cleaned while wearing gloves, the guidelines say. Home isolation will be for 17 days after the symptoms start showing, or the date of sampling. They can be released if there is no fever and other symptoms for 10 days, the oxygen saturation level is above 95 per cent and respiratory rate less than 24 per minute. A centralised system is being created for allocation of beds in hospitals and a nodal officer has been appointed to oversee it.
Detailed guidelines for home isolation and last rites of dead persons have been prepared, minister Sudhakar said. There will be hyper-local management to contain Covid-19 with task force committees at the booth level. In Bengaluru, 8,800 such committees will be set up, he said. “Booth-level task force committees will be the basic structural and functional unit for Covid management. They will include BBMP or Municipal Administration staff in urban areas and Gram Panchayat staff in rural areas. A nodal officer has been appointed to oversee this,” the minister said. Local management will be strengthened for effective monitoring and surveillance of Covid cases, he added.