Currently, the global burden of the COVID-19 pandemic is 18,614,177. The death toll of this infection, caused by the novel coronavirus, is 702,642, worldwide. In India alone, there are more than 19 lakh cases while the death burden is above 40,000. While some COVID-19 patients are severely affected, many experience only mild symptoms. According to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, people with severe symptoms need to be hospitalised while asymptomatic patients and those with mild manifestations can stay in home isolation.
RULES FOR HOME ISOLATION
The guidelines of the Union Health Ministry suggest that a person is eligible for home isolation only if he or she is clinically assigned as a very mild/pre-symptomatic/asymptomatic case by the treating medical officer. Moreover, the person needs to have the necessary facilities at home for self-isolation and quarantining other family members. Here are some of the other crucial guidelines for home isolation of mild or asymptomatic COVID positive patients:
Before going in for home isolation the patient should fill up an undertaking on self-isolation stating that he will follow the quarantine guidelines. It should be approved by the treating medical officer or the doctor.
A care giver should be present 24 x 7 with the patient. The caregiver needs to be in touch with the treating hospital or medical officer throughout home isolation. She should monitor the patient's health status and seek immediate medical intervention if the patient experiences difficulty in breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, slurring, mental confusion, numbness in limbs, so on and so forth.
The patient needs to download the Arogya Setu App on mobile and it should always remain active.
The person in isolation should also agree to monitor his own health conditions and keep updating the District Surveillance Officer intermittently.
CARING FOR YOURSELF DURING HOME ISOLATION
Though COVID-19 cases are increasing in leaps and bounds all over the world, the good news is, most patients experience mild to moderate symptoms which can be taken care of with adequate home care. Alongside self-care, you also need to have a plan in place to safeguard others at home from transmission. Here is how you can care for yourself and protect others during home isolation:
You need to monitor yourself regularly for fever, pulse rate and oxygen saturation if you are suffering from COVID-19 infection. Consult your medical officer if you experience intensified symptoms. However, there is no need to panic. Fever can be erratic and your body temperature may vary from time to time. That's characteristic of the COVID-19 infection. Also, make sure that you stick to the schedule of your prescribed medicines.
Identify a separate room for yourself
This is the first and foremost step for home isolation. Before you quarantine yourself there, make sure that it doesn't have anything that others need. Also, ask your caregiver to make sure that you have everything you need in that room.
Be mindful about what you eat
It's essential to include a lot of fruits and vegetables in your diet. They will up your intake of vitamin C, which is known to boost your immunity. A strong immune system helps in early recovery from any infection including COVID-19. Also, make sure that you have a balanced meal with sufficient amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. If you are experiencing loss of appetite then stick to small, frequent meals. Loss of smell and taste is a common symptom of COVID-19 infection. Drinking lemon water every day will help. Moreover, lemons will increase your dose of vitamin C.
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Additionally, it will be a good idea to boost your zinc intake. Of late, it has earned a name for itself while it comes to easing the symptoms of COVID-19. Guavas, broccolis, kiwifruit and beet greens are good sources of this mineral. You can also consider adding ginger and turmeric to your meals. They are especially helpful in relieving pain and cough and cold, both associated with COVID-19 infection.
Stock up on essentials
It I important to have sufficient supply of essential items during your quarantine days. Here is your checklist.
Make sure that you have enough supply of essential grocery and food items that are not only nutritious but have a long shelf life too.
Have plenty of tissues and cleaning products like soap, hand wash, sanitizers, surface cleaners, disinfectants, so on and so forth.
It's good to have extra towels, bed sheets and other essentials.
You should have a month's supply of prescription drugs if you have been suffering from any chronic illness. It's essential to stock up on extra inhalers if you are an asthma patient because breathing trouble may intensify with COVID-19 infection. It is also a good idea to stock up on emergency medications to heal minor cuts and injuries at home. Additionally, have enough supply of over-the-counter pain and cough medication.