All family members of a Covid-positive person in home isolation should be administered prophylaxis under medical supervision and not be allowed to move out of the house until the patient recovers, the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) set by Jharkhand government states.
Home isolation was not a default right of every Covid patient, but a privilege given only to those who fulfil all the parameters set by the government, officials said on Wednesday, clarifying that hospitalisation should be the ideal approach towards treating Covid patients in state despite the crisis of beds in hospitals.
However, as cases of Covid infection soar in Jharkhand, and the fear of institutional isolation haunts many, The Pioneer found access to the government's latest rules for home isolation and the parameters set for the same.
As per the SOP, a copy of which is with this correspondent, the first step for home isolation of a Covid patient was to get a medical officer's prescription stating that the patient was either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms.
The second step, as per the SOP, was to ensure that all family members were ready to follow the rules of home isolation during the period. The rules for home isolation in Jharkhand were not only strict for the patient, but also for family members.
As per the SOP, all family members of a patient will have to stay at home during the quarantine period. Besides, all of them have to get tested for Covid-19 and none of them will be allowed to move out of the house if even one of them tests positive.
Once the family members agree to abide by the rules, the patient will have to submit a written undertaking on self-isolation and State that he will abide by all guidelines of home quarantine.
Among the infrastructural requirements, the patient must have a separate, ventilated room, with an attached toilet at home. There should also be availability of a smart phone for downloading Arogya Setu App and for video calls with assigned health care workers.
“Home isolation is not a right by default for Covid patients. It is ideally discouraged, and allowed only if the patient fulfills all the parameters set for home isolation,” said Ranchi deputy development commissioner Ananya Mittal.
As per the parameters set by the government, the patient must have a caregiver available 24x7 at home. Besides a digital thermometer, an oximeter should be available in the house for measuring oxygen levels in the patient.
Hydroxychloroquine, B complex, zinc, vitamin C and vitamin D tablets must be available in sufficient quantity at home for patients and other members of the family.
Besides, a 1 percent hypochlorite solution should be available at home to wipe the floor surface.
The health department had earlier clarified that patients undergoing Chemotherapy or suffering from HIV infection were not eligible for home isolation. Also, patients with comorbid conditions will be allowed home isolation only after inspection by a medical officer.