The other category of patients, including very mild, mild, pre-symptomatic and moderate cases need not be tested before discharge
NEW DELHI| On Friday Union Health ministry revised its discharge guidelines for the COVID-19 patients, requiring only patients who had developed a severe illness or have compromised immunity to test negative through a swab test before they are allowed to leave the hospital or a care centre.
The other category of patients, including very mild, mild, pre-symptomatic and moderate cases need not be tested before discharge.
The recent discharge guidelines are in contrast with the previous rules that said a laboratory-confirmed case had to be tested on day 14 once and then again in a span of 24 hours. After both the results are negative then the patient is fit to be discharged from the health care facility.
The health ministry said, “The ministry has issued detailed guidelines as per the clinical status of the patient that should be followed”.
The revised discharge policy is aligned with guidelines on the 3-tire COVID-19 health facilities and the categorization of patients based on clinical severity i.e, mild, moderate and severe.
The revised guidelines read as, “For mild, very mild and pre-symptomatic cases admitted to a COVID Care Facility will undergo regular temperature and pulse monitoring. The patient can be discharged after 10 days of symptom onset and if they have no fever for 3 days. There will be no need for testing prior to discharge. At the time of discharge, the patient will be advised to follow the home isolation for 7 more days”.
“After discharge from the facility, if they again develop symptoms of fever, cough or breathing difficulty, he will contact the COVID Care Centre or State helpline or 1075. Their health will again be followed up through teleconference on 14th day.”
Cases clinically classified as moderate cases will undergo monitoring of body temperature and oxygen saturation. If fever resolves within three days and the patient maintains saturation above 95% for the next 4 days, such patient will be discharged after 10 days of symptom onset 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 7 days is suggested with close monitoring of health.