The medical establishment acknowledges that 40 per cent of new cases can emerge from hospitals as they are the hotspots of in-fection and with the shortage of personal protection kits, everyone in medical, patient and non-medical categories is vulnerable.
Preparing for a partial opening up is very important and for that reason doctors are advising the Centre and state governments that mild cases must be treated at home, which will make it easy for these patients and also for society as a whole.
Dr Sanjeev Singh Yadav, Telangana state secretary of the Indian Medical Association, said hospitals have their own set of infections and bacteria due to the atmosphere, other diseased patients, surgeries and other factors.
“In pre-Covid-19 times, we followed disinfection strategies that worked. Covid-19 is highly contagious and due to its nature, those with low immunity in and around hospitals will be susceptible carriers, spre-aders and can also go to critical stages. For this reason it is advisable that mild patients must be kept at home and treated. Hosp-italisation must be only for breathlessness or serious condition,” he said.
Home quarantine will require staying alone, keeping distance from family members, not touching surfaces, eating separately and isolating in all aspects.
It is very important that people understand and comply with home quarantine, which is being done in other countries too.
But not all agree. “With lockdown not being stringently followed, home quarantine in India is risky. Government has its own limitations where high cost and non-availability of testing kits is forcing them to look at these exit strategies. It will require a constant and continuous education on home quarantine to make it successful,” a senior doctor who did not want to be named, said.
With a large number of asymptomatic carriers and shortage of kits, testing should be carried out only for those who are ‘suspects’ in red and orange zones. Regular and constant surveillance will be required to curb the spread of the disease.
Dr T. Narsinga Reddy, national vice-president of the Indian Medical Association, said, “To protect Coronavirus-negative patients, it is very important that the immune-compromised persons like senior citizens, cancer and transplant patients, auto-immune compromised, diabetic, hypertensive, and AIDS patients and those with respiratory disorders are counselled to home quarantine for a longer period of time. Their hospital visits have to be restricted to telemedicine and they must be given support virtually. Their home quarantine will be for a longer period of time and hence family and mental support is equally important and government has to devise ways in which people can reach out for help.”
The biggest worry will be for family members who are living with these elderly or ill people and have to go out to work....