The island-wide programme of the Ministry of Health to initiate a home-based isolation and treatment system for asymptomatic and COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms will get underway today.
The Health Ministry last week issued a set of guidelines on providing home-based care for asymptomatic and COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms.
The patients, aged between 2 and 65 years who are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms and patients with no serious health complications are eligible for the home-based care programme.
The programme was initiated in the Western Province previously, however following the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant, the government has expanded it to other areas.
The Health Ministry said patients eligible for home-base care should isolate in a separate room with sanitary facilities and adequate ventilation allocated for them.
They should not have uncontrolled comorbidities such as morbid obesity, diabetes, hypertension, chronic heart, lung and renal diseases or other medical conditions.
They should not be suffering from immuno-compromised status or not on long-term immunosuppressive therapy.
According to new guidelines, patients have been advised to contact the call centre through 1390 hotline for any emergencies.
The guidelines have been communicated to all relevant National, Provincial and Regional health officials.
The Health Ministry said considering the congestion in several hospitals due to the increase in the number of COVID-19 patients, the government authorized the home-based isolation programme under medical supervision.
Accordingly, a home-based isolation and management system has been established by the Health Ministry with the objective of tracking down patients who require early hospital admissions, providing patient-centred safe home care while reserving hospital care for symptomatic patients and reducing unwanted hospital admission.
According to the guidelines, the area Medical Officer of Health is responsible for identifying the coronavirus-infected individuals who need home-based care and institutional health care.
The Health Ministry has said patients eligible for homecare, should consent to home-based isolation.
The MOH of the area will then register low-risk patients in the Patient Home Isolation and Management System.
The MOH will hand over the responsibility of the patient to the Call Centre and the Medical Care Team through the Management System.
Medial teams will be supervised by Consultant Family Physicians in coordination with the other specialists in various specialities.
The Ministry added that the call centre will coordinate with the patient and a medical care team assigned for home-care management.
An assigned medical officer in the medical care team will conduct an initial assessment and daily monitoring of the patient.
The remote assessment and daily monitoring are carried out through telephone consultations by the Standardized Screening Tool and the findings will be recorded in the Management System.
PCR positive date or date of initial symptoms, fever, breathing difficulty on rest or mild exertion, any other significant symptoms, symptoms of dehydration and symptoms of uncontrolled underlying comorbidities will be recorded by the medical team.
The Health Ministry said despite the programme if symptoms worsen at any given time, patients will be immediately hospitalized.