The country is currently in the grip of a potential third wave of COVID19. In light of the fast increasing cases of COVID19 and the new Omicron variant in India, we must all strictly adhere to the government and civic body-issued rules and safety procedures. This time, most patients are asymptomatic or have minimal COVID19 symptoms; nonetheless, because they do not require hospitalization, they must follow Home Isolation Guidelines.
Home Isolation Guidelines apply to patients who have been clinically assessed and assigned as mild/asymptomatic cases of COVID19 – the guidelines define:
- Asymptomatic patients as laboratory-confirmed cases, who are not experiencing any symptoms and have oxygen saturation at room air of more than 93%.
- Mild cases are defined as those who have upper respiratory tract symptoms with or without fever, no shortness of breath, and an oxygen saturation of more than 93 percent in room air.
COVID19 already effected every family in our neighborhoods in some manner, and with the new Omicron variant, we need to be even more prepared. The current home isolation guidelines are for a period of seven days..
What are the signs and symptoms of Omicron?
The most common symptoms of Omicron are cough, sore throat, fatigue, and fever. Currently, fatigue and headache are the two most common symptoms associated with the Omicron variation (in around 65 percent of cases).
Those with mild symptoms can ensure safe home isolation by taking the following precautions:
- Isolate yourself from the rest of the family members. Take plenty of rest. Everyone else in the family should wear masks at home. These can be either fabric or surgical masks. During the isolation period, every home must assure sanitization.
- A digital thermometer should be in every home. Every person in the house should have their temperature checked on a daily basis, especially those who are isolating themselves. Fever is defined as an axillary temperature greater than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit. These patients require quick attention and examination. Isolated family members should carefully monitor their body temperature every four hours.
- Step 3: A pulse oximeter is the third and most crucial step for patients who are in home isolation or receiving treatment at home. If the Pulse Oximeter reading falls below 93 percent or is 3 percent lower than the normal value. The patient should contact a COVID19 care facility or the nearest hospital. Patients should use a Pulse Oximeter to assess their oxygen saturation and notify their physician every 6 hours.
- Perform a Six-Minute Walk Test : The patient should walk in the room at normal speed for 6 minutes before rechecking the oxygen levels. If oxygen levels decline after the walk, this is an indication of Early Hypoxia, and they should seek hospitalization or at least seek the advice of a qualified physician. The room Should have adequate cross ventilation.
Furthermore, if you are 15 years old or older, you should register for vaccination. This will provide you with tremendous immunity to battle the virus if you are ever to become infected. Details on the registration process is available on appropriate government websites.
Who is not a candidate for home isolation?
According to the guidelines issued by the civic body,
- Home isolation is not advised for patients who are immunocompromised. These patients will necessitate the presence of a caregiver 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Home isolation is not permitted for pregnant women two weeks before the expected date of delivery.
- Those with co-morbidities may choose home isolation, but eligibility will be determined following a medical evaluation.
Those who are unable to separate themselves at home due to a lack of space, a lack of a familial support system, or other factors will be quarantined at Government-approved isolation facilities.
These Steps will ensue that not only the patients are safe in their homes. These recommendations will guarantee that hospital beds are available and prioritised for patients with severe symptoms. these steps will also ensure healthcare professionals are not overburdened.
Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.