Home & Community Isolation: Guidelines for ‘Green’ Covid-19 Patients

Under the current situation, with large numbers of Covid-19 infections in an upward trend, many hospitals have been unable to accept everyone seeking treatment. To alleviate the situation, Covid-19 infected people have been classified according to their symptoms into “green”, “yellow” and “red” groups. Home isolation and community isolation measures have been put in place for patients in the green group as this reduces the number of patients needing to be hospitalized. Moreover, it increases the efficiency and thoroughness of treatment for patients who do need to be hospitalized.

What is a “green patient”?

So-called green patients are those infected with Covid-19 but who are not showing signs or symptoms or have only mild symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis, or other complications. The term also refers to patients who have been hospitalized for at least 10 days and diagnosed by the doctor that they can be treated in home isolation or in a community isolation program. To qualify as “green”, patients must be voluntary, under the age of 60, and in good health. They must also not have any underlying disease or be obese.

Home & Community Isolation – What to do?

For home isolation, patients must stay alone or with one co-resident only. They are not allowed to leave their accommodation and approach others any closer than two meters. They must separate their personal items such as clothes and eating utensils from others. They must immediately wash their hands with soap or clean them with alcohol sanitizer after touching any objects and they must wear a face mask at all times when they are not alone. During such quarantine, patients will be provided with three meals a day. Doctors and nurses will contact them by phone or video call for daily assessment and counseling. Qualified medical personnel will prescribe medications when needed. The patients must monitor themselves for any symptoms. If their symptoms get worse, such as high fever, breathlessness and being unable to perform daily activities, they must notify the medical team immediately. If they have to go to hospital, they must only use their private car and if they travel with another person, the windows must be open to allow airflow.

For community isolation using an open place such as a temple pavilion or school auditorium, participants must be registered as a patient with a medical facility and must not require oxygen therapy. The number of patients must not exceed 200 people and there must be a hygienic management system that keeps infectious waste separate from the community. The patients will be provided with three meals a day. Doctors and nurses will contact them by phone or video call to monitor their symptoms twice a day, and to take their temperature and measure their blood oxygen level once a day. Patients will be referred to hospital if necessary.

Must-have equipment for home isolation and community isolation

  1. Not less than 70% alcohol gel
  1. Facial masks
  1. Liquid hand soap
  1. Disinfectant wipes
  1. Personal food containers, cutlery, glasses and straws
  1. Non-contact thermometer
  1. Rubber gloves
  1. Fingertip Pulse Oximeter

Sources:

• Department of Mental Health

• Bureau of Information, Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Health