Coronavirus pandemic: What does home quarantine mean?
New Delhi, Mar 14: As the deadly corona virus has become pandemic, you don't have much choice but to quarantine yourself. While less stringent than being quarantined in an Army or paramilitary facility, home quarantine comes with its own set of restrictions.
Here is simple, easy guidelines to keep in mind
What is home quarantine?
Home quarantine means being quarantined at home. The affected person will be confined to a well-ventilated single-room, preferably with an attached/separate toilet, in his or her own home. If another family member needs to stay in the same room, the two need to maintain a distance of at least 1 metre between each other. They need to stay away from elderly people, pregnant women, children and persons with co-morbidities within the household, as the chances of infection are high among them.
Individuals must separate themselves from the world in a well-ventilated room along with an attached toilet.
- In case of sharing the room in home quarantine, there should be at least one meter distance between two individuals.
- The government has advised the suspects to maintain a safe distance from vulnerable groups such as old-aged people, pregnant women, children and persons with other immunological complications.
- The individuals must restrict their movement even inside the house they have put themselves in quarantine.
- Suspects or people who have been exposed to the disease must wash hands with either soap or water or hand sanitizer.
- The health ministry has advised strongly against sharing household items like glasses, cups, utensils, bedding, etc.
- The masks used to cover mouth and nose must be replaced every 6-8 hours.
- The used masks must be burnt or buried after disinfecting with bleach solution (1%) or Sodium hypochlorite solution (1%).
How your family members can help you
- There should be only one family member who should take care of the person and visitors should also be restricted.
- The person who is taking care must avoid direct contact with the suspect and hence should use gloves while meeting the person who has been quarantined.
- The caretaker of the suspects must sanitize himself/herself properly before and after meeting the person quarantined.
- In the case of the quarantined person developing symptoms for the Covid-19, all the family members will be put under quarantine for 14 days till they test negative for the viral infection.
- The ministry has provided a 24*7 helpline 011-23978046 to report Covid-19 infections or has asked the suspects or their caretakers to contact their nearest health center.
How to wear and dispose masks?
- For those unsure of which mask to choose, the ministry has said: "Medical masks of different sizes and shapes are available. The common ones are flat, pleated masks of woven fabric which cover the nose and mouth and are affixed behind the head with straps/elastic fasteners. There are also conical, or duck bill-shaped masks, with (or without) valves that fit over the nose and mouth but are costlier."
- Medical masks should not be used by healthy persons who do not show symptoms "because it creates a false sense of security".
- Refrain from touching your face, mouth, nose and eyes. Ensure you wash your hands regularly with soap for at least 20 seconds each time.
- If a person develops a cough or fever, s/he needs to switch to medical masks
- Use of three-layer medical masks when ill will prevent the infection from spreading. Do not forget to wash your hands frequently as well.
- Close family members of suspected/confirmed cases undergoing home care should also use three-layer medical masks.
COVID-19 emerged in December last year in China's Wuhan province and has now spread to over 100 countries. India has 83 reported cases; most of these are individuals who had traveled to affected countries.