BMC issues fresh home isolation guidelines | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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BMC issues fresh home isolation guidelines

ByMehul R Thakkar and Swapnil Rawal
Jan 06, 2022 11:07 PM IST

With this decision, the formal home isolation period also has been brought down to seven days from the earlier 10 days in Mumbai.

Mumbai The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a circular allowing asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients to be isolated at home for seven days rather than being hospitalised. With this decision, the formal home isolation period also has been brought down to seven days from the earlier 10 days in Mumbai.

Those who cannot isolate at home will continue to be quarantined at BMC’s isolation facility (Satish Bate)
Those who cannot isolate at home will continue to be quarantined at BMC’s isolation facility (Satish Bate)

However, patients with severe symptoms or with comorbidities will be hospitalised basis on the clinical situation on a case-to-case basis.

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Further, those who cannot isolate at home will continue to be quarantined at BMC’s isolation facility. Meanwhile, the state health department has directed the district administrations to follow the Centre’s guidelines on home quarantine and hospitalisation.

With the surge in cases in Mumbai for the past week, the city has seen a jump in the number of people hospitalised. Since January 1, Mumbai has hospitalised 4,688 Covid patients, according to BMC data.

According to BMC officials, the decision was taken on the basis of the new and revised home quarantine guidelines issued by the Central government on January 5.

The revised guidelines state that those with severe symptoms like chest congestion, fever for over three days, or with oxygen levels below 93 require medical attention.

However, those choosing home isolation will require a caregiver 24x7, ideally who is fully vaccinated for being the link between medical officer and the positive patient. Also, those with comorbidities shall be allowed for home isolation, but a decision will be taken on the basis of medical evaluation.

Dr Mangala Gomare, chief of public health department of the BMC, said, “These guidelines will be circulated to all hospitals where clinical symptoms will decide the criteria for hospitalisation.”

Dr Gomare added, “Those with mild symptoms or are asymptomatic can be isolated at home. Our doctors from the ward war room will provide them with medical assistance. This arrangement will help us in better bed management.”

The city has been witnessing a spike in Covid cases for the last 20 days and the Omicron variant is said to be the driving force. The BMC in a statement on December 31 had said that its genome sequencing had revealed that 55% of the total samples were Omicron infections.

In the statement, it said that out of the total 282 samples, 13% were patients of the Delta variant, 32% of Delta derivatives and 55% of Omicron variant. Out of 282 Omicron variants, only 17 patients had to be hospitalised.

Further, according to BMC officials, it is expected that now the dominance of the Omicron variant may have reached the 80%-mark. However, it will be clear in its further results of genomic sequencing.

In a bid to ascertain the level of Omicron variant’s spread in the districts, the Maharashtra government is sending about 4,000 samples a month for genome sequencing from all the 36 districts of the state.

The state had been sending samples for genome sequencing as part of its pact with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) since April 2021. Dr Pradeep Awate, the state’s surveillance officer, said that the state’s protocol has been to send 5% of the total samples that have tested positive for Covid-19 for genome sequencing.

“Every month we send 100 random samples from each of the districts to study the variant,” he said. Maharashtra sends 3,600 samples monthly, which now could go up to 5,000, officials said. The state has mandated screening, testing and genome sequencing of positive samples of international passengers at Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur airports since the outbreak of the Omicron variant late last year.

Meanwhile, Awate said that they would follow the guidelines issued by the Centre on home quarantine for Covid positive patients. Officials said that the patient under home isolation would stand discharged and end isolation after seven days from testing positive and no fever for three successive days. The overall treatment protocol, Awate said, would remain the same as it was in the second wave of the Covid infections.

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