The Centre on Friday asked states to ensure strict implementation of the Union Home Ministry's guidelines on home isolation at the field level to effectively curb the spread of coronavirus, after taking note of instances of laxity in some cases.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had issued revised guidelines regarding home isolation on May 10 which continue to be effective as on date, an official statement said.
According to the guidelines, very mild and pre-symptomatic COVID-19 patients can opt for home isolation, provided the patient has a room to himself/herself with toilet facility and has an adult attendant or caregiver. Also, the patient shall agree to monitor his/her health and regularly inform the status to the district surveillance officer for further follow up by surveillance teams, it stated.
An important clause of the revised guidelines is that treating doctor is satisfied about the patient opting for home isolation based on medical assessment and assessment of his/her residential accommodation, the ministry said.
In addition, the patient shall fill in an undertaking on self-isolation and shall follow home quarantine guidelines, it said.
Also, all such cases of home isolation further shall be monitored by teams of well-oriented doctors on a regular basis, their discharge should follow the required guidelines and shall be reported as per norms, the Centre said.
"In this regard, some instances have been noticed wherein home isolation is allowed in a routine manner in certain states, and clauses of the revised guidelines are not followed in letter and spirit," it said.
This may lead to spread of the disease within the family members and neighbours, more so in urban settings such as dense urban agglomerations, the Centre said.
In this regard, the health ministry has requested the states to ensure strict implementation of the guidelines on home isolation at the field level to effectively curb spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have collectively been following the policy of test, trace, track and isolate and the same may not be feasible if the guidelines issued are not implemented in letter and spirit," Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal in his letter to states said.
"It is again reiterated that the urban congested settlements exercising the option of the home isolation may result in patient spreading the infection to family members and in the neighbourhood. In this context, it is requested to ensure strict implementation of the guidelines on home isolation at the field level," he said.