Barely two days after home isolation guidelines were issued by the civic body, some private hospitals have started rolling out “home care medical packages” that include oximeters, blood pressure apparatus and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) tablets, apart from offering WhatsApp video calls with doctors and nurses for monitoring. So far, 60 asymptomatic Covid-19 positive people have been permitted to leave Covid care centres.
The PMC recently issued guidelines for home isolation of positive asymptomatic persons, in tune with the advisory issued by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Persons clinically categorised as having very mild or pre-symptomatic Covid-19 will have the option of home isolation, provided they have requisite facilities. They will have to submit an undertaking to adhere to self-isolation norms.
General Manager Dr Sunil Rao from Sahyadri hospital told The Indian Express that across six of their units in the city, there were a couple of positive persons without symptoms who had requested home-based care.
Dr Rao said after a three-minute walk test to check their oxygen saturation levels and a chest X-ray for other parameters, patients were asked to fill a self-declaration form stating that they will monitor health conditions with the help of a doctor.
“Towards this end, we are designing a home care package so that patients can be given a pulse oximeter, thermometer, blood pressure apparatus, medicines, and cleaning detergents. Patients will be monitored during the 17-day home isolation period, and if their condition deteriorates, ambulance services will be provided,” Dr Rao said.
While the cost of medical home-based care package is being worked out, authorities at Columbia Asia hospital said initially an assessment will be done if asymptomatic positive persons have adequate space at home with an attached washroom.
Dr Viju Rajan, general manager at Columbia Asia hospital, said, “After a health check-up, the entire home-based care protocol will be explained to the patient. The medical home care package will include doctor’s consultation and even counselling if required. Caregivers will also be interviewed.”
While Ruby Hall Clinic’s medical director Dr Sanjay Pathare said they were working out cost estimates for a basic home care package, he also pointed out that there was a concern about taking children back home. “We have appointed a coordinator who will look into various aspects regarding consultation of the patient with the doctor and providing emergency contact numbers,” Dr Pathare said. He, however, said even if patients preferred home isolation, there was a worry about the entire situation and if their health took a turn for the worse. So, they will have to undergo constant monitoring, he added.
Jehangir hospital’s medical director Dr S S Gill said there were requests from asymptomatic patients to return home and, according to instructions they will be discharged.
Dr Gill said a the state and civic authorities had laid down a protocol, and patients will be brought on board the medical care programme and told to download the Aarogya Setu app that had instructions on how to self-isolate and what to do in case they developed symptoms.
So far, 60 asymptomatic positive patients have sought home isolation, said Dr Sanjeev Wavare, Assistant Medical Officer, PMC.
Dr Sanjay Patil, president, Indian Medical Association Pune’s sub-chapter of the Hospital Board of India, said they had offered to provide medical guidance to Covid-positive patients during home isolation. “It is a kind of ‘parenting’ of the patient during home isolation,” Dr Patil said.
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