Feasibility of the home isolation programme for adults and children with COVID-19
Keywords:Asymptomatic, Co-morbidities, Hospitalization, Hypoxia, Mild, Tele-consultation
Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused an upsurge of cases in many countries leading to inadequate quarantine facilities and hospital beds. Studies on the feasibility of home isolation for COVID-19 patients are the need of the hour. This is the first study from India on the feasibility of home isolation to the best of the author's knowledge.
Methods: This methodical study was conducted at a designated COVID-19 tertiary care hospital in India, which included all patients enrolled for the home isolation programme from the 4 July to 3 August 2020. Laboratory confirmed COVID-19 patients were assessed during the enrolment for their eligibility for home isolation. The enrolled patients were followed up once daily over a telephonic call with objective parameters like temperature, pulse and oxygen saturation.
Results: There were a total of 447 adults and 67 children. Amongst adults, hypertension was the most common co-morbid condition seen in 23 (5.15%) followed by diabetes in 18 (4.03%) patients. Only 24 (5.37%) patients were hospitalised during the duration of home isolation due to reasons like persistent fever, decreased SpO2, and non-medical ones like anxiety regarding the disease. Age and the presence of co-morbidities were directly related to the requirement of hospitalisation. No children required hospitalisation. There were no deaths.
Conclusions: Home isolation is effective for COVID-19 patients in resource limited settings. We provide strong evidence for adapting it for asymptomatic and mild symptomatic cases with judicious use of resources and without compromising the risk to patients.
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