Muscat: Patients who’ve been advised to stay home and isolate themselves after they’ve been diagnosed with the symptoms of COVID-19 must follow the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.
Anyone failing to adhere to these guidelines will face legal action.
According to these guidelines, the isolated person should stay in a well-ventilated single-room with a dedicated toilet. In addition, if another family member needs to stay in the same room (no more than one extra person is allowed) they must maintain a distance of at least 2 metres, for example, by sleeping in a separate bed.
The isolated person should restrict their movement within the house, and only assigned family members should attend and take care of the isolated person. The family member who has been assigned to provide care should wear a surgical mask when attending to the isolated person, and should dispose of it after use, as well as wash hands using soap and water or disinfect with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
The isolated person should strictly avoid social gatherings e.g. weddings, condolences, prayer meetings, and when coughing or sneezing, precautions must be taken to cover the mouth and/or nose with tissues, or using one’s own sleeve. These tissues must then be thrown away immediately and the person must immediately wash their hands with soap and water or disinfect with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
The ministry guidelines went on to add, “Wash hand as often thoroughly with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser and avoid sharing household items e.g. dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with other people at home.”
“Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the isolated person’s room (e.g. bed frames, tables etc.) daily with regular household bleach solution,” said the advisory. “Clean and disinfect toilet surfaces daily with regular household bleach solution, and clean clothes and other linen used by the person separately using common household detergent and dry.”
“Avoid shaking any soiled linen and make sure it has no contact with skin,” said the Ministry of Health. “Use disposable gloves when cleaning the surfaces or handling soiled linen, and wash hands after removing gloves.”
The recommended home isolation period is for 48 hours from the last day on which symptoms were felt. Isolated persons should wear a surgical mask if attended by the medical team, or when visiting a healthcare facility.
Close contact with isolated person: If a person stops showing symptoms, he will be placed in quarantine for 14 days and provided with a quarantine information card. If any quarantined person continues to develop symptoms related to COVID-19, they should communicate with the nearest health centre for further diagnosis and patient management.