Covid Patients Can Now Go Home in 10 days

Hyderabad: There is some good news for coronavirus patients and healthcare workers at Gandhi Hospital. The changed discharge policies, mooted by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, will reduce the number of days a Covid patient has to be hospitalised and also lessen the burden on healthcare workers and the hospital.

Till now, coronavirus patients used to get discharged after their chest X-ray came clear and they tested negative for the virus twice. This entire process took at least 14 days and in some cases, depending on the intensity of the viral load, even more. The MOHFW and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently reviewed the discharge guidelines and classified Covid-19 patients into very mild, moderate and severe cases categories, to reduce the duration of hospital stay, pressure on hospitals for empty beds and the number of diagnostic tests that are carried out on a patient.

There is not much change in the discharge policy for severe coronavirus patients, as they have to remain in the hospital till they recover. After recovery, they have to undergo the coronavirus diagnostic test only once and not twice, which was the case earlier.

Mild and moderate cases can now get discharged after 10 days of stay in the hospital with no coronavirus symptoms for three days. They also need not test negative for the coronavirus but have to remain in home isolation for seven days after they get discharged.

The new discharge policy not only cuts short the hospital stay of positive patients but also reduces the load on hospital staff and the demand for beds needed for isolating newly detected cases.

The MOHFW clarified that such a decision was taken after observing discharge strategies in other countries and reviewing the Indian patient data. “Several countries have changed the criteria for discharge from ‘test-based strategy to ‘symptom-based’ or ‘time-based’. A review of the ICMR laboratory surveillance data indicated that after the initial coronavirus positive results, patients became negative after a median duration of 10 days,” the MOHFW clarified.

Once patients did not have any symptoms after their 10-day treatment, then it was usually taken as evidence for cure, the MOHFW clarified. There was also no indication that mild or moderate patients would transmit or infect others after they get discharged. Moreover, such patients should remain under home isolation for seven days immediately after being discharged.

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