NEW DELHI: At a time when the alarming surge in COVID-19 cases has gripped the countrymen with fear and there is an acute shortage of hospital beds and medical oxygen, the Health Ministry has listed out some warning signs suggesting when does a COVID-infected patient needs hospitalisation.
In its latest advisory, the Union Health Ministry has stated that falling oxygen saturation, excessive fatigue are warning signs that indicate a COVID-19 patient in home isolation needs hospitalisation.
“People living in home isolation keep contacting their doctor. Saturation is decreasing to 93 or less, there are conditions like fainting, chest pain, then contact the doctor immediately,” Dr Randeep Guleria, Director of AIIMS (Delhi), said during a press briefing.
“Falling oxygen saturation (below 93), excessive fatigue or chest pain are warning signs indicating that a patient in home isolation may need hospitalisation. Thus, such patients should stay in touch with a doctor and high-risk group people having comorbidities also need to take special care,” he said.
Guleria further said that in moderate illnesses three types of treatment – oxygen therapy, steroids and anticoagulants – are effective and are the main treatment strategy.
During the press briefing, the Delhi AIIMS chief also warned against a number of early ways of COVID-19 treatment, which can later prove harmful. He warned against multiple CT scans to begin with.
Dr Guleria said multiple CT scans has side effects and can end up doing more harm than good.
Stressing that there is no need for doing CT scans in mild COVID cases, the AIIMS Director said at a press conference that many people are opting for the test the moment they find out they are positive for COVID-19 and added that misuse of CT scans and biomarkers may cause damage.
The statement from the Health Ministry comes at a time when hospitals are inundated with COVID-19 patients due to a massive surge in cases across the country, which has also led shortage of ICU beds, the oxygen supply in hospitals.
It may be noted that last week, the Health Ministry had revised the home isolation rules of mild and asymptomatic Covid-19 patients. “As per the guidelines, the patients who are clinically assigned to be mild asymptomatic are recommended for home isolation,” a Health Ministry statement said.
“Patient under home isolation will stand discharged and end isolation after at least 10 days have passed from the onset of symptoms (or from date of sampling for asymptomatic cases) and no fever for 3 days. There is no need for testing after the home isolation period is over,” the Health Ministry had stated.