The Union Health Ministry on Saturday made a big announcement and revised its policy on the discharge of Covid-19 affected patients.
The government said that only severe cases will now be tested, that too only once, before being discharged.
Moderate cases will undergo monitoring of body temperature and oxygen saturation.
If fever resolves within three days and a patient maintains saturation above 95% for the next four days (without oxygen support), he or she will be discharged after 10 days of onset of symptoms in case there is no fever without anti-fever drugs, no breathlessness and no need for oxygen.
“There will again be no need for testing prior to discharge, and home isolation for seven days is suggested, with close monitoring of health,” reads the guideline.
Until now, patients were discharged only if two of their specimens tested negative for Covid-19 in RT-PCR swab tests after a gap of 24 hours. The changed guidelines for hospitalisation come into effect as India is bracing for a spike in the number of infections, with mathematical modeling predicting that the peak could be in June-July.
The revised guidelines are different from the government’s previous rules which said a laboratory-confirmed case had to be tested on day 14 once and then again in a span of 24 hours.
If both the results are negative then the patient is fit to be discharged from the health care facility.
Discharge criteria for severe cases will now be based on clinical recovery and patient tested negative once by RT-PCR (after the resolution of symptoms).