As many as 43 people availing treatment for Covid-19 under home isolation have died so far, with not a single death reported from November 4 to December 1 in the city, as per the data shared by the state health department.
In Delhi, there are 30,302 active cases at the moment, out of which 18,423 are under home isolation. The strategy for home isolation was introduced by the state government at the time when the city hospitals were swamped with mild and moderate cases of Covid-19, leaving the healthcare system under stress.
At present, those under home isolation are provided a pulse oximeter by the Delhi government to monitor oxygen saturation levels. As per protocol, a team from each district calls the patient at home to enquire about his/her health, and to understand if they are facing any problems.
According to the Delhi government’s guidelines, patients advised home isolation can end it after 17 days of the onset of symptoms and if there is no fever in the last 10 days. After the end of 17 days, the health team assigned to the patients will officially inform them about the end of the isolation period. There is no need for testing after this period is over. So far, more than 2,50,000 patients have recovered under home isolation.
“Each and every case is closely monitored by the team of district officials. The timely hospitalisation of patients is the most important factor for ones availing treatment under home isolation,” said a senior health official.
Senior officials in the state government also attributed the trend to a series of steps taken by the state government, such as free e-ambulance service for patients who might need hospitalisation.
“The services are available for patients at their doorstep, which has given them the confidence to trust the medical services of the city. We are hoping that the mortalities will continue to decline while the recovery rate goes up,” said a senior Delhi government official.
In a recent meeting chaired by the DDMA chairman, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria and Dr Balram Bhargava, the officials were directed to monitor Covid-19 patients under home isolation and ensure there is timely hospitalisation.
According to doctors, the majority of patients (81 per cent) have mild disease and are fit to be treated at home, and only 19-20 per cent will require hospitalisation, including 5-6 per cent who require ICU care. Experts feel that while home isolation is essential and required, there is a need to remain careful and the doctor needs to be in contact with the patient.
Prof Vijay Hadda, a specialist in pulmonary medicine at AIIMS, said: “Initially, the policy was to admit each and every patient in the hospital. But looking at the numbers now, it is impossible to treat every patient in the hospital. So the concept of home isolation and quarantine was introduced. Clinical presentation, requirement for supportive care, potential risk factors and the ability of the patient to self-isolate at home are some of the factors to keep in mind before advising home isolation to any patient.”x
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