Chandigarh, 2 September(Punjab Khabarnama) :-Health & Family Welfare Minister, Punjab S. Balbir Singh Sidhu here today appealed to people of State to come forward and get themselves tested for COVID-19. He said Government has relaxed the norms for home isolations. COVID-19 positive patients who have been clinically assigned as very mild/pre-symptomatic/asymptomatic case by the treating medical officer can easily opt for home isolation. However the requisite facility at their residence for self-isolation and also for quarantining the family contacts must be available. Elderly patients aged more than 60 years and those with co-morbid conditions such as Hypertension, Diabetes, Heart disease, Chronic lung/liver/ kidney disease, Cerebro-vascular disease etc shall be allowed home isolation only after proper evaluation by the treating medical officer.

Health Minister informed that patients needs to give an undertaking that there is adequate facility available for home isolation with them like a separate room and toilet. Patient must procure a kit containing pulse oximeter, thermometer, Tab vitamin-C and Tab Zinc. Care giver should be available to provide care on 24 x7 basis. A communication link between the caregiver and hospital is a prerequisite for the entire duration of home isolation and COVA App should be downloaded on mobile and it should remain active at all times (through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi). The patient will have to monitor his/her health and check oxygen saturation and temperature thrice a day and maintain a record of it health and regularly inform his health status to the District Nodal Officer, who will facilitate further follow up by the surveillance teams.

S. Balbir Singh sidhu revealed that duration of home isolation is for 17 days and deemed ended if no symptoms for 3 days. However immediate medical attention must be sought if serious signs or symptoms develop. These could include difficulty in breathing, dip in oxygen saturation (SpO2 < 95%), persistent pain/pressure in the chest, mental confusion, slurred speech/seizures, weakness or numbness in any limb or face vii. Developing bluish discolorations of lips/face.

Health Minister, Punjab further said care givers & patients will have to follow all medical protocols, safe guard and advisories of the Government during the duration of home isolation. In additions, the patient will self-monitor his/her health with daily temperature monitoring and report promptly if he/she develops any deterioration of symptom.

He added that care of the patient and family members is very important. The care giver will make sure that the patient follows the prescribed treatment. The care giver and all close contact will self-monitor their health with daily temperature monitoring and report promptly if they develop any symptom suggestive of COVID-19 (fever/cough/difficulty in breathing etc).