Guidelines on Home Isolation for COVID- 19 persons as per ICMR
Dr M Bhattacharya
Patients eligible for home isolation
- The patient should be clinically assigned as mild/ asymptomatic case by Medical Officer.
2. A separate room & washroom for the positive patient is ideal .
3. Elderly patients aged more than 60 years and those with co-morbid conditions such as Hypertension, Diabetes, Heart disease, Chronic lung/liver/ kidney disease, Cerebrovascular disease shall only be allowed home isolation after proper evaluation by the treating medical officer.
4. A caregiver (ideally someone who has completed his COVID-19 vaccination schedule) and can attend 24×7 ,should take care of the positive person.
5 .Testing NOT mandatory for asymptomatic contacts
Instructions for the patient
1.Patient must keep away from other household members including children& pets and always wear mask.
2. The patient should stay in a well-ventilated room . Windows should be kept open to allow fresh air in summers. In winters patient should try to sit in the sun
3.. Patient should at all times use triple layer medical mask to be discarded after 8 hours of use .
4. Lie on your chest & breathe deeply to improve oxygenation
5. Use of disposable items for giving food & drinks to the patient is best for infection control ,if not then all used items to be washed with warm soap & water
6. All surfaces touched by patient to be sanitized with alcohol based sanitizer and room disinfected after isolation is completed
7. Self-monitoring of blood oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter and temperature for the patient is advised every 6 hourly.
8.To report to medical officer if SPO2 falls below 93% or temperature is above 990C respiration >24 breaths / minute without exercise.
9. Hand washing at least for 40 seconds. Alcohol-based hand rub can be used, if hands are not visibly soiled.
10.Patients may perform warm water gargles or take steam inhalation thrice a day.
11. If fever is not controlled with a maximum dose of Tab. Paracetamol 650 mg four times a day or Breathlessness or Dizziness or Fever persists (≥ 100 F) for > 3 days report to treating medical officer .Don’t.s
12. Do not rush for self-medication, blood investigation or radiological imaging like chest X ray
or chest CT scan without consultation of treating Medical Officer.
13. Steroids are not indicated in mild disease . Do not use remdesivir at home or budesonide nebulizer on your own unless already taking prior to getting infected.
14.Do not use oxygen cylinder without advise of medical practitioner .
Instructions for Care Giver
1.Food must be provided to the patient in his room. Utensils and dishes used by the patient should be thrown if disposable or cleaned with soap/detergent and water while wearing gloves. The utensils may be re-used after proper cleaning.
2. Use triple layer medical mask and disposable gloves while cleaning or handling surfaces, clothing or linen used by the patient.
3.Perform hand hygiene before and after removing gloves.
4. Sanitize the room after Home isolation is over by washing floor & surfaces with disinfectant or soap & water. Ventilate the room properly.
Treatment for patients with mild /asymptomatic disease in home isolation
1. Patients must continue the medications for other co-morbidities and be in communication with a treating Medical Officer and promptly report in case of any deterioration.
2. Patient may utilize the tele-consultation platform made available by the district/state
administration including the e-Sanjeevani tele-consultation platform available at
When to discontinue home isolation
1.Patient end isolation after at least 7 days have passed from testing positive and with no fever for last 3 successive days . Patient should continue wearing masks after coming out of isolation.
2.There is no need for re-testing after the home isolation period is over.
HARYANA COVID HELPLINE–8558893911
(The author is Professor and Head of Community Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, SGT University, Gurugram)