The Government of India is continuously working towards curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. With the number of COVID-19 patients rapidly going up, the Centre has urged the general public to practice social distancing and be cautious at all times.
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Saturday issued a set of fresh guidelines for all those getting quarantined at their homes. Quarantine refers to a state or place of isolation that a person needs to be in if he/she were exposed to a contagious disease.
Therefore, you only need to be quarantined if you have been to one of the coronavirus-infected countries in the past 3 three months or have come in contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
As per the instructions issued by the Health Ministry, the person who is being quarantined at home should:
- Stay in a well-ventilated single-room preferably with an attached/separate toilet. If another family member needs to stay in the same room, it’s advisable that there is a distance of at least 1 meter between the two.
- Stay away from elderly people, pregnant women, children and persons with co-morbidities within the household. He/she should also restrict movement within the house.
- Not attend any social/religious gathering.
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid sharing household items such as dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, etc with other family members.
- Wear a surgical mask all the time. The mask should be changed every 6-8 hours and the used one should be disposed of.
(Important: Used masks should firstly be disinfected using ordinary bleach solution (5%) or sodium hypochlorite solution (1%) and then disposed of either by burning or by deep burial.)
The duration of the home quarantine has been set for two weeks. It is advised that only one family member should be tasked with taking care of the isolated person.
However, if the person, during the specified time period of 14 days, starts showing symptoms such as cough, fever or difficulty in breathing, then he/she should immediately inform the nearest health center or call 011-23978046. In this scenario, all the family members of the symptomatic person will need to get quarantined as well.
Apart from this, the Health Ministry has also laid down a few preventive measures for environmental sanitation. Under these, every household should:
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the quarantined person’s room (e.g. bed frames, tables, etc) daily a sodium hypochlorite solution (1%).
- Clean and disinfect toilet surfaces daily with regular household bleach solution/phenolic disinfectants.
- Clean the clothes and other linen used by the quarantined person separately.
So far, over 80 persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in India and two have succumbed to the China-originated virus, officially known as SARS-CoV-2.