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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: In a major policy shift, Odisha government on Monday decided to allow home isolation of asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients.

Announcing the development, Odisha Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy said that home isolation will only be applicable only in urban areas including 114 urban local bodies, district headquarters, sub-divisional towns and block headquarters in the first phase with certain conditions.

To further ease burden on existing health care infrastructure, especially in dedicated COVID Care Centres and COVID hospitals, Odisha government will corporates, institutions, establishments, NGOs, agencies, resident welfare associations with adequate health care facilities to keep their own members, employees & workers with COVID-19 infection in isolation with certain conditions.

As per the WHO and the Health ministry, around 80% of COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and do not need critical health care. Mostly, they need isolation and if we keep such cases in hospital, then our resources cannot be used effectively. In coming days, we need to see that those positive cases who need critical care the most get it on priority basis, said Tripathy.

“Asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic patients who are taken to hospitals feel psychological duress and we have found that they hide symptoms by taking Paracetamol or other medications. If we see the practice around the globe, patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms are not being admitted to dedicated COVID hospitals. We have also received requests, especially in urban areas, to allow allowing home isolation of COVID-19 positive patients those who are asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic. It is well established that home isolation is good for patients & not psychologically stressful,” said Tripathy.

According to Tripathy, as Odisha now has a robust mechanism with multi-layered monitoring system, it will facilitate home isolation in urban areas. Apart from this, Odisha government has received several requests from corporate houses, industries having townships and hospitals and others to treat employees in isolation at their own facilities.

Municipal Corporations, Bhubaneswar and Jharsuguda airports, East Coast Railway (all centres), Paradip, Gopalpur and Dharma ports, State/Central PSUs that have townships & colonies, Central Armed Police Forces like CISF, BSF, CRPF, NDRF, Odisha Police, Fire, Directorate of Prisons, Universities and deemed universities, community forurms like Marawari, Jain Samaj, Mosque or Gurudwara committees who have land and resources can create COVID Care Homes and isolation facilities for their employees and members, he said.

However, persons who are HIV positive, diagnosed with cancer, those who have undergone kidney transplants, elderly persons with other co-morbidities like hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, lung, liver and kidney diseases will not be allowed home isolation, Tripathy added.

(Edited By Bikram Keshari Jena)

Also Read: Over 300 Kgs Of Precious Gemstones Including Ruby & Panna Seized In Odisha

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