Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is a serious respiratory condition caused by n-COV, a novel strain of infection that has not been previously identified in humans. The World Health Organization (WHO), on March 11, 2020, declared this has a pandemic disease, as the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased by 13-fold and the countries affected by this deadly disease has tripled. As per the latest reports, there are more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives.

Lack of availability of an effective vaccine or a structured treatment approach has been the root cause for this deadly viral disease spreading across several countries and infecting numerous healthy individuals’ day by day. COVID- 19 is a serious respiratory illness activated by a novel strain of the coronavirus, a zoonotic microbe originated from an animal in a wet market in Wuhan, China. The signs and symptoms of this grave illness include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Also Read Coronavirus: 5 Popular Myths Debunked & Facts You Should Know

With infections spreading at an alarming rate doctors are advising people who had a travel history to the affected countries with or without symptoms or who had close contact with an infected person to be quarantined at home. Also Check: Coronavirus Kit: Did You Pack All These Must-Haves To Combat COVID-19? Infographic
Read through this article to know about the guidelines laid by the health authority on home quarantine.
Coronavirus home quarantine

What Is Quarantine /Isolation?

Quarantine of the person is the restriction of activities or separation of a person who are not ill but who may have been exposed to infectious agent or disease, with an objective of monitoring symptoms and early detection of cases. 

Isolation is a separation of ill or infected person from others, so as to prevent the spread of infection of contamination. 

In the context of current COVID-19, outbreak, the global containment strategy includes the rapid identification of laboratory-confirmed cases and their isolation and management in either a medical facility or at home. 

WHO recommends such persons be quarantined for 14 days from the last time they were exposed to a COVID-19 patient. 

*Source World Health Organization(WHO)

Quarantine Is Recommended For:

A person who had close contacts with a confirmed case, including those who live in the same household.

Quarantine also needed for those individuals who had visited regions with ongoing transmission of COVID-19.

It means that a person who had visited the affected areas should stay at home for 14 days after return, irrespective of whether or not they are having any symptoms. Such persons should:

Avoid going to work or school

Do not travel or go to any public transport

Avoid visiting places where you can come into contact with large groups of people

Home Isolation Is Recommended For

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 who do not require hospitalisation. 

A person who is sick and waiting for a test result of COVID-19

Duration of Home quarantine

People who have had close contact must be in-home quarantine for 14 days after the last contact with the patient diagnosed with the disease. This also relates even if you have tested negative for COVID-19 during that time.

For a low-risk person, home isolation is not required but they must monitor symptoms regularly.

Confirmed cases must be isolated as long as they show symptoms of illness.

The government of India has issued certain specifications for all contacts who are home quarantined:

Isolate yourself in a ventilated single-room preferably with an attached or separate toilet. Any close family member who needs to stay in the same room should maintain a distance of 1 meter.

Avoid contacting vulnerable people, the elderly, pregnant women, children and individual with comorbid conditions within the house.

To completely restrict the movements within and outside the house.

Should avoid attending any social or religious gatherings.

The person quarantined should also follow the below precautionary measures at all times:

Washing the hands thoroughly with soap and water or hand sanitizer

Avoid sharing personal belongings and utensils with other family members.

Use a surgical mask at all times and dispose the used mask after 6-8 hours, never reuse the single use masks.

Used masks should be discarded by burning or burying after disinfecting it with sodium hypochlorite solution or ordinary bleach solution (5%).

If there are any symptoms like cough, fever or breathing difficulty, immediately contact or inform the nearest health centre or call 011-23978046.

Precautionary measures for family members of the home quarantined person

Only one member of the family should take care of the infected person.

Avoid direct contact or with soiled linen.

Always sanitize well before and after meeting the person

Always use disposable gloves when cleaning the soiled areas or handling soiled linen and wash hand after removing the gloves.

Never allow any visitors.

Keep the surroundings clean by disinfecting the touched areas of the quarantined person, which include toilet, clothes, other linen and utensils.

In case if the person quarantined become infected then all his close contacts should be home quarantined for another 14 days or till the lab reports of such cases turns out negative.