COVID-19 has taken India by storm, shaking its very core. Thousands of severe cases have been reported, thousands have lost their lives and thousands are still hanging onto the thread of life. Although only severe cases make it to the headlines, there is a vast majority who merely experience mild symptoms or remain asymptomatic. The Health Ministry on Thursday issued revised guidelines for home isolation of mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 cases.
The general guidelines state that patients must be in communication with a treating physician and instantly report any deterioration in condition. The COVID-19 positive patient should also contain the medication for other illnesses after consulting the treating physician.
The detailed guidelines suggest that patients follow symptomatic management for fever, running nose, and cough, as warranted. Also, patients may perform warm water gargles or take steam inhalation twice a day.
For fever, the guidelines recommend that the treating doctor prescribe paracetamol (10-15 mg/kg/dose), which may be repeated every 4-6 hours. For cough, they recommend throat soothing agents such as warm saline gargles.
If fever is not controlled with a maximum dose of the paracetamol tablets (650 mg four times a day), recommendations have been made to consult the treating doctor, who may consider advising other drugs like a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. If the fever persists beyond 5 days of disease diagnosis, inhalational budesonide (given via inhalers with spacer at a dose of 800 mcg twice daily for 5 to 7 days) can be provided. And if the fever continues beyond 7 days, with damaging cough, the guidelines recommend that the patient consult the treating doctor for treatment with low-dose oral steroids. Oral fluids have been recommended to maintain hydration and a nutritious diet.
"The decision to administer Remdesivir or any other investigational therapy must be taken by a medical professional and it should be administered only in a hospital setting", the Ministry said. They strongly propose that in case of falling oxygen or shortness of breath, the person should require hospital admission and seek immediate consultation from their treating physician/surveillance team.