Karnataka government has replaced the term ‘home isolation’ with ‘home care’ among other measures in an attempt to rid the stigma attached to covid-19. Home care has been used as a synonym for home isolation to address the associated stigma, the state health department has said in its latest guidelines.
In Belagavi as many 700 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 are under Home Care.
Persons above the age of 60 with comorbidities were not allowed for Home Care but now the health officer can initiate Homecare for any age group if he/she is satisfied with the regular medication and care been taken, they will be allowed for Home Care.
Pregnant women within two weeks of their date of delivery will not be allowed home care even though it has been relaxed from the earlier norm of four weeks.
Home care is for a period of 10 days and no tests are required after the end of the period.
The eligibility criteria state that the person will have to be clinically assigned as asymptomatic or a mild case through telephonic triage or by the health staff, medical officer, or physician. Such cases should have the requisite facility at their residence for self-isolation as well as for quarantining the family contacts. A caregiver will have to be available 24×7, while elderly patients and those with comorbid conditions will be allowed home isolation only after clinical evaluation.
The person shall have a pulse oximeter, digital thermometer, face masks, gloves, sanitiser, etc., during home care.
Dedicated tele-monitoring link shall be established for daily follow-up of the person during the entire period of home isolation or home care.
On the management of waste for those under home isolation, it said the used facemasks, gloves, toiletries or swabs contaminated with blood or body fluids of COVID-19 patients, including used syringes, if any generated should be treated as biomedical waste and collected in separate yellow bag.
Masks and gloves used by caregivers and other family members shall be kept in a paper bag for a minimum of 72 hours prior to its disposal as general waste after cutting the same to prevent reuse, it added.