Covid-19: India govt changes policy for hospital discharge

Covid-19: India govt changes policy for hospital discharge

New Delhi: Amid a spike in Covid-19 cases, the Centre on Saturday revised guidelines for discharging coronavirus patients.

Now only those patients, who were severely infected before making recovery, need to undergo Covid-19 test for getting discharged from healthcare facilities. So far, all Covid-19 patients, irrespective of the severity, were released only if two of their specimens tested negative for the virus in RT-PCR swab tests after a gap of 24 hours.

The new guidelines come even as daily cases being reported in the past few days saw a sudden spurt. The past week alone saw over 20, 000 fresh cases as doubling rate worsened to 10.2 days. Experts like AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria predicted the infection could peak in June-July.

The measure will result in availability of more hospital beds and other healthcare facilities to deal with the spike in Covid-19 cases, as discharge rate of patients will rise.

As per the notification issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, patients belonging to ‘Mild, very mild or pre-symptomatic’ categories can be discharged after 10 days of symptom onset and no fever for three days. There will be no need for testing prior to discharge though the patients will have to follow home quarantine for further seven days.

In moderate cases, if fever resolves within three days and the patients maintain “saturation above 95 per cent for the next four days, without oxygen support”, they will be discharged without any testing.  However, patients on oxygenation whose fever does not subside in three days and demand for oxygen therapy continues, will be discharged only after resolution of the clinical symptoms.

The discharge criteria for severe cases, though, will be based on clinical recovery and the patient testing negative once by RT-PCR (after resolution of symptoms), the revised guidelines said.

The total Covid-19 cases in the country neared the 60, 000 mark (59, 662) on Saturday while a total of 1981 deaths have been reported so far.

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