Assam hinges on institutional isolation to curb COVID deaths; modifies SOPs
The Assam health and family welfare department is laying more emphasis on adhering to institutional quarantine for COVID-19 patients, especially for those aged above 50 years and with comorbid conditions, in a bid to bring down the mortality rate.
On Monday, Assam recorded 92 COVID deaths, which is the highest single-day spike in COVID fatalities in the state.
The health department, for its part, has modified the standard operating procedures for home isolation, as it has been seen that a large number of patients who have opted for home isolation are falling seriously ill, as a result of not following home isolation guidelines.
According to the modified order on home/institutional isolation, COVID-19 patients who are aged 50 years and above or with co-morbidities shall be strictly advised to undergo institutional isolation following the COVID treatment protocol applicable.
“They shall undergo seven days of institutional isolation under medical supervision and shall be eligible for all support, including refreshments, etc, as notified from time to time. After discharge, following the discharge protocol, they shall complete another seven days of home isolation,” the order said.
Those above 50 years and with co-morbid conditions will be allowed home isolation only if the patient is asymptomatic, and that he/she is in good clinical condition without serious comorbid conditions, which has to be certified by a medical practitioner.
Among other conditions, there has to be a separate well-ventilated room with a separate toilet for the person in isolation.
“The patient shall keep a fingertip pulse oximeter and thermometer at hand, and keep a proper record of the oxygen saturation level, pulse rate and temperature readings at regular intervals,” the order stated.
“No person who is above 60 years of age with co-morbidities, pregnant and in the high-risk category in respect of COVID-19, shall live in the house with the patient,” the order added.
Meanwhile, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the positivity rate has come down to 6.9 per cent and that he was hopeful of the COVID-19 situation to improve in Assam soon as all frontline workers and staff were working dedicatedly in the fight against the virus.
He however said that as long as people opt for home quarantine, without fulfilling the criteria laid out for it, the mortality rates are bound to increase.
“We are therefore trying to ensure cent per cent institutional quarantine in a few days,” Sarma said.
(Edited by Aparmita Das)
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