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Health Ministry’s revised discharge policy for COVID-19 patients: Only severe cases to be tested before discharge

The Health Ministry has issued separate guidelines for those who have mild, very mild symptoms, moderate cases and the critical cases and those with pre-existing ailments.

May 9, 2020 14:04 IST
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The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) issued a revised discharge policy for COVID-19 patients on May 9, 2020. The revised COVID-19 discharge guidelines are in line with the guidelines issued on the 3 tier COVID facilities and the categorisation of patients based on the severity of their symptoms. 

The Health Ministry has issued separate guidelines for those who have mild, very mild symptoms, moderate cases and the critical cases and those with pre-existing ailments such as HIV patients and transplant recipients.

Following are the discharge guidelines for COVID-19 patients:

1. Mild or Very Mild Cases: Those with mild, very mild symptoms or pre-symptomatic cases admitted to a COVID-19 care facility will undergo regular temperature checks and pulse oximetry monitoring. The patients 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 before discharge. The patients, however, will be advised during the time of discharge to follow home isolation for at least 7 days.

In case the oxygen saturation of the patients drops before discharge, then he/she will be moved to a dedicated COVID health centre. Following discharge from the dedicated COVID health centre, if he/ she again develops symptoms of fever, breathing difficulty or cough, then the patient can contact the COVID care centre or 1075. Follow-ups will be taken on the patient’s health through teleconference on the 14th day.

2. Moderate Cases: The moderate COVID-19 cases, admitted to dedicated COVID Health centre, will undergo monitoring of body temperature and oxygen saturation. If the fever of such a patient resolves within 3 days and the oxygen saturation remains above 95 percent for next 4 days, then he/she can be discharged after 10 days of onset of symptoms if there is:

•  Absence of fever without antipyretics

•  Resolution of breathlessness

•  No oxygen requirement 

Note: In such cases as well, there will be no need for testing before discharge and the patients will have to follow home isolation for 7 days.  

However, if symptoms such as fever do not resolve within 3 days and the demand for oxygen therapy continues then the patients will be discharged only after resolution of clinical symptoms and the patient manages to maintain oxygen saturation for 3 consecutive days. 

3. Severe cases: The severe coronavirus cases or those with pre-existing ailments including HIV patients, transplant recipients and malignancy will be discharged only after full clinical recovery. The patient will be tested once after the resolution of symptoms and will be discharged only when the test results come negative.

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