In the last few weeks, at least 20 persons – suspected to have symptoms of novel coronavirus (nCoV) – were kept under observation and discharged from isolation wards of government hospitals after they tested negative for nCoV in the State.
Simultaneously, hundreds of persons were asked to remain under home quarantine for a period of 28 days. Health officials, while continuing their surveillance, insist that those under home quarantine should follow the home care guidelines.
As on Sunday, a total of 1,856 persons, who had returned from China and any of the other countries that had reported positive nCoV cases were under home quarantine for 28 days across the State. The highest number of passengers on follow-up was in Chennai (518 persons) followed by Ramanathapuram (161 persons) and Pudukottai (133). Sivaganga had 89 persons, while Coimbatore had 81 persons and Tiruchi had 87 persons under home quarantine, according to official data.
A senior official of the Health department said they continue to monitor those under home surveillance and are ensuring that they adhered to the advisory.
“At least two calls are made everyday to persons under home quarantine by two teams at the 24-hour coronavirus control room at the office of the Directorate of Public Health (DPH) and Preventive Medicine and 108 ambulance’s emergency response centre. Those under home quarantine should follow the advice provided and stay in isolation within their homes,” a public health officer said.
Apart from the two calls, local public health teams comprising a doctor and health inspector visit these persons at their homes whenever needed, he added.
As per the home care guidelines issued by the DPH, persons under quarantine should stay in a well-ventilated single room. The number of caregivers should be limited; ideally one person who is in a good health condition. There should be no visitors and household members should stay in a different room.
The persons should limit their movement and minimise the shared space. They should ensure that shared spaces such as kitchen and bathroom are well ventilated. The caregiver should wear a medical mask fitted tightly to the face when in the same room.
Surfaces such as bedside tables, bed frames and furniture should be cleaned and disinfected daily. Following respiratory hygiene – covering mouth and nose during coughing and sneezing – and hand hygiene is important. Persons with symptoms should remain at home until their symptoms are resolved and the health of all household members would be monitored.
Persons can contact the State health department’s round-the-clock helpline at 104 and control room numbers – 044 2951 0400/2951 0500, 94443 40496 / 87544 48477.