Written by Zulfick Farzan
27 Oct, 2020 | 6:54 pm
Colombo (News 1st); On Monday (26) it was announced, the first contacts of any positive COVID-19 affectee would be placed under self-quarantine in their respective homes.
“Home quarantining” refers to keeping visibly healthy, possible high-risk contacts separately at non-healthcare settings.
High-risk contacts include individuals returning to Sri Lanka from countries where local transmission has been established for coronavirus infection, and those who had maintained close contact with a suspected or diagnosed case of COVID- 19.
According to the Epidemiology Unit, the following measures are expected to be followed under this concept:
1. Consider allocating a separate room with adequate ventilation at home if possible, and household members should stay in another room or be separated from the person ordered to be placed in home quarantine.
2. Maintain at least one-meter distance from family members.
3. Preferably, household members should use a separate bathroom. But, if sharing the same bathroom, cleaning of taps, doorknobs, and utensils with soap and water are a requirement.
4. Need to minimize visitors to the home and the person ordered to be placed in home quarantine should not face any visitors.
5. Frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time and maintain alcohol-based hand hygiene in instances where hand washing facilities are inadequate.
6. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
7. Home quarantined person is expected to monitor body temperature using a thermometer twice a day. If such a person gets fever, cough, difficulty in breathing, sore throat, body aches, and pain, including flu-like symptoms, immediately inform MOH / PHI of the area immediately.
8. The disposable facemasks and gloves after use should be properly discarded without reuse, preferably in a closed container.
9. Assign separate dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, and other items for the quarantined person.
10. Used utensils, bed linen, and clothes should be washed with soap and water
The MOH is the responsible officer for field supervision and follows up of home quarantined persons and the MOH assigns Public Health Inspector (PHI) for monitoring of quarantined persons.
The PHI also will check their health status daily by visiting, by a telephone inquiry, SMS throughout the quarantine period.
In the case of a person with signs and symptoms, PHI should immediately inform the MOH and the Regional Epidemiologist.
Transportation of suspected patients is arranged through the “1990 on-call ambulance (Suwaseriya) service” to the nearest government hospital or to the designated hospitals.
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