Home isolation for asymptomatic Covid-19 patients in Nagaland

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The Nagaland government has issued new standard operating procedure(SOP) for home isolation of asymptomatic coronavirus patients to decongest the designated Covid-19 hospitals in the state and resume other essential healthcare services in them.

The new SOPs were posted on the state government’s website on Wednesday night and came into immediate effect.

As on Wednesday, the total number of confirmed cases in the state was 2,498 of which 1,804 are active cases.

All the active cases are asymptomatic patients and are being taken care of in Covid-19 hospitals and care centres, officials said.

A total of 685 people affected by the pandemic have recovered, while seven died and two others have migrated to other states, they added.

As per the new SOP, which was issued by Nagaland chief secretary Temjen Toy, asymptomatic patients do not require hospital care and district hospitals which are designated Covid-19 hospitals need to be decongested to provide care to more serious cases and for resumption of essential health services.

According to the new norms, a patient should be clinically assigned as an asymptomatic case by the treating medical officer to be eligible for home isolationn which would be of a duration of 14 days.

The patients with very mild symptoms who do not have any other comorbid conditions may also be considered for home isolation by the medical officer.

Immuno-compromised patients like those suffering from HIV, undergoing cancer therapy or are transplant recipients are not eligible for home isolation. The elderly and those with hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and patients with chronic lung, liver, kidney and other diseases would only be allowed after proper evaluation by the treating medical officer, it said..

According to the new SOP, the requirements for home isolation are a single bedroom with proper ventilation. A separate or attached washroom is desirable but sharing one will be allowed subject to strict adherence to the infection control measures with appropriate disinfectants.

The approval for home isolation will be granted after a Covid-19 positive patient applies to the district surveillance officer for it. A copy of the application should be given to the village council, town council and municipal council requesting for inspection of the isolation room and facility at his/her home.

A doctor will examine the facilities and certify that the patient is asymptomatic and fit to be kept in home isolation, according to the SOP.

A medical team will inspect the house and certify that the required facility as specified is available. It may associate the village council/ town council/ municipal council while carrying out the inspection.

As per the new procedures after an asymptomatic patient is sent for home isolation there would be digital, community and medical surveillance. Telephonic monitoring by the medical team will continue in addition to the digital surveillance.

Downloading the Covid Nagaland and Aarogya Setu apps and keeping them activated at all times is mandatory for the patient in home isolation. Self-monitoring of symptoms and entering the nCovid app twice daily will be necessary until the patient is discharged from home isolation.

The SOP stated that the village, town and municipal councils will have to report any violation of home isolation to the district task force and each patient in home isolation will be linked to a designated Covid-19 hospital.

After the home isolation if the asymptomatic patient shows no symptoms of the pandemic, he/she will be in home quarantine for 14 days. If symptoms develop during the isolation period, patients will be shifted to a Covid Hospital, it said.

The state testing policy for the discharge of confirmed cases will be followed and revised from time to time, the SOP mentioned adding that violators will be penalised as per the Disaster Management Act 2005 and the Nagaland Epidemic Disease(Covid-19) Regulations 2020.

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