13/03/2020 5:49 PM IST

What The Govt's Coronavirus Advisory Means By 'Home Quarantine'

This is what you need to do if you are quarantined at home.

As the fear over coronavirus grow, it’s important to stay aware of the facts. If you have been wondering who needs to be quarantined and for how long, the Union health ministry has a document which addresses these questions at length.

Here are some answers we found there:

Who should be quarantined at home? 

Anyone who has come into contact with a suspect or a confirmed case. 

How long is the quarantine period?

The home quarantine period is for 14 days from contact with a confirmed case or earlier if a suspect case (of whom the index person is a contact) turns out negative on laboratory testing.

See: Helplines For All States And Union Territories In India Here

What is “contact” in the context of COVID-19? 

— A person living in the same household as a person with COVID-19.
— A person who has had direct physical contact with a COVID-19 case or his/her infectious secretions without recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) or with a possible breach of PPE.
— A person who was in a closed environment or had face-to-face contact with a person with COVID-19 at a distance of within 1 metre, including air travel. 

What should a person quarantined at home do? 

— Stay in a well-ventilated single-room, preferably with an attached toilet.
— If another family member needs to stay in the same room, it’s advisable to maintain a distance of at least 1 metre between the two.
— Stay away from elderly people, pregnant women, children and persons.
— Restrict movement within the house.
— Under no circumstances should they attend any social/religious gatherings. 
— Wear a surgical mask all the time. The mask should be changed every 6-8 hours and disposed off. Disposable masks should never be reused.
— Masks used by patients /care givers/ close contacts should be disinfected using ordinary bleach solution (5%) or sodium hypochlorite solution (1%) and then disposed of either by burning or deep burial.
— A used mask should be considered as potentially infected.
— If symptoms appear (cough/fever/difficulty in breathing), he/she should immediately inform the nearest health centre or call 011-23978046.

What should family members of the quarantined person do?

— Only an assigned family member should be tasked with taking care the quarantined person. 
— Avoid shaking soiled linen or direct contact with skin. 
—Use disposable gloves when cleaning the surfaces or handling soiled linen.
— Wash hands after removing gloves.
— Visitors should not be allowed.
— In case the quarantined person becomes symptomatic, all their close contacts will need to be home quarantined (for 14 days) and followed up for an additional 14 days or until they test negative for the virus. 

How should you clean the quarantine room?

— Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the quarantined person’s room (e.g. bed frames, tables etc.) daily with 1% Sodium Hypochlorite Solution.

—Clean and disinfect toilet surfaces daily with regular household bleach solution/phenolic disinfectants

— Clean the clothes and other linen used by the person separately using common household detergent and dry