Tested positive for Omicron | Follow these home isolation guidelines

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The country is currently caught in a possible third wave of COVID19. Amid the rapid rise in cases of COVID19 and new Omicron variant in India, we all must strictly follow the guidelines and safety measures issued by government and civic bodies. This time around, most patients are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms of COVID19, as they do not necessarily require hospitalization, they must adhere to home isolation guidelines issued by BMC.Also Read – Singapore Commuter Yeo Jia Min Tests COVID Positive Upon Returning From India

The guidelines apply to patients who have been clinically assessed and classified as mild/asymptomatic cases of COVID19 – the guidelines mean: Also Read – Goa Raj Bhavan will remain closed to visitors until Jan 23 amid Covid cases | Read the order here

  • Asymptomatic patients as laboratory-confirmed cases, who have no symptoms and have a room air oxygen saturation greater than 93%
  • Clinically assigned mild cases are referred to as patients with upper respiratory symptoms with or without fever, without shortness of breath, and having a room air oxygen saturation greater than 93%.

COVID19 has affected every family in our neighborhood in one way or another, and now with the new Omicron variant, we need to prepare better. Current home isolation guidelines are for a period of seven days. Also Read – Omicron Variant: How Excessive Immune Supplement Consumption Can Affect Your Body Organs

What are the symptoms of Omicron?

Cough, sore throat, fatigue, fever are the most common symptoms of Omicron. Currently, fatigue and headaches are the two main symptoms observed with the Omicron variant (in approximately 65% ​​of cases).

People with mild symptoms can safely quarantine at home by following these steps:

  • Step 1: The first step in home isolation is to isolate yourself from other family members and rest. All other family members must wear masks at home. These can be cloth masks or surgical masks. Each household must provide sanitation at the end of the isolation period.
  • Step 2: Every household should have a digital thermometer. The temperature of all individuals in the home should be checked daily; especially check the temperature of those who isolate themselves. Any axillary temperature above 99.5 is considered a fever. These patients require immediate attention and further evaluation. Self-isolating family members should meticulously monitor their body temperature every 4 hours
  • Step 3: Pulse oximeter is the third important and basically necessary item for patients who are quarantined at home or undergoing home treatment. If the pulse oximeter reading drops below 93% or 3% lower than the routine value, one should go to a COVID19 care center or the nearest hospital. Patients should check oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter and notify their treating physician every 6 hours.
  • Step 4: We recommend appropriate cross-ventilation in rooms and a six-minute walk test for patients. We recommend the walk-in patient room for 6 minutes at a normal pace and recheck oxygen levels. If oxygen levels drop after walking, this is a sign of early hypoxia, and such patients should seek hospital beds or follow the advice of a qualified physician.

Also, if you are 15 or older, get registered for vaccination. This will give you immense immunity to fight off the virus if you get infected. Details of the registration process can be found on relevant government websites

Who is not eligible for home isolation?

According to the directives issued by the civic body,

  • Immunocompromised patients are not recommended for home isolation. These patients will require the presence of a caregiver 24 hours a day
  • Home isolation does not apply to pregnant women two weeks before the due date
  • People with co-morbidities can opt for home isolation, but their eligibility will be decided after a medical evaluation.

For those unable to self-isolate at home, due to lack of space, or lack of family support system, or for other reasons, will be quarantined in BMC-authorized isolation facilities .

In addition to protecting patients in their homes, these guidelines will also ensure that hospital beds are prioritized for patients with severe symptoms and that healthcare workers are not pushed beyond their limits while trying to care for patients 24 hours a day.

(Written by Dr. Kirti Sabnis, Infectious Disease Specialist, Fortis Hospital Kalyan & Mulund)

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