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Wear mask at all time, restrict movement: Government guidelines on home quarantine for coronavirus

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has prepared a draft of guidelines for home quarantine in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Home quarantine is applicable to all contacts of a suspect or confirmed case of COVID-19,” a release from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare read.

“This intervention will be limited to the initial phase of India reporting only (i) travel-related cases and (ii) focal clusters arising from a travel-related/unrelated case where cluster containment strategy is adopted (iii) Persons coming from COVID-19 affected areas where local and community transmission is evident,” the release stated.

Here are 10 things to know about home quarantine as stated by the health ministry:

1. Those quarantined at home should stay in a well-ventilated room, preferably with an attached toilet or have a separate one for use.

2. If another family member needs to stay in the same room, it’s advisable to maintain a distance of at least one metre from the patient.

3. Virus-infected patients should stay away from the elderly, pregnant women, children within the household as their immune system may be low.

4. The individual under home quarantine must restrict his/her movement within the house.

5. “Under no circumstances” should the individual attend any social/religious gathering such as weddings, condolences.

6. Wash hands as often thoroughly with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

7. Avoid sharing household items or other items with other people at home.

8. Wear a surgical mask at all the time. The mask should be changed every 6-8 hours and disposed off. Disposable masks are never to be reused.

9. Masks used by patients/caregivers/close contacts during home care should be disinfected using ordinary bleach solution (5%) or sodium hypochlorite solution (1%) and then disposed of either by burning or deep burial. “Used masks should be considered as potentially infected,” the release noted.

10. If symptoms appear (cough/fever/difficulty in breathing), the individual under home quarantine should immediately inform the nearest health centre or call 011-23978046.

The government has stated that there is no need for all individuals to get screened for coronavirus as the level of community transmission in the country is not there currently.

“The disease is primarily reported in individuals with travel history to the affected countries or close contacts of positive cases,” a government release read.

Those with a travel history to any of the coronavirus-affected nations or individuals who were in close contact with the ones affected by the virus should self-declare, stay under a 14-day self-quarantine and get screened for the infection.

India has reported 73 coronavirus cases so far. The outbreak has killed over 4,000 people worldwide with over 100,000 infected. tags

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