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Assam: Home Isolation, late reporting resulting in increased COVID-19 deaths

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GUWAHATI: Home isolation of COVID-19 positive patients is resulting in increased COVID-19 deaths in Assam. People in home isolation contact the medical department only when the situation turns critical and that has led to deaths in many of the cases. There have been instances where critical patients have died within one to one and a half hours of being brought to the hospital. Home isolation is one of the main reasons for the increased death rate of COVID-19 patients in Assam.

“Four patients are such who have arrived from their homes at the last minute. It means they took the home isolation option and maybe had fever at home and hid it. When the oxygen level dipped they were brought to the government hospital and died within one to one and a half hours of time,” said Assam Health Minister, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The health minister explained that rules were not followed and there was late reporting from home isolation cases. “There is late reporting of the patient’s condition from those opting home isolation. They have not followed the rules and have reported so late that even doctors could not do anything,” said Dr. Sarma.

“I would request those in home isolation to come to the hospitals immediately if they are having fever or any such issues,” said Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma.

“In the initial stages we did not allow home isolation. We brought them to the hospitals. If someone’s oxygen level dipped we immediately took care of it and started the treatment. Then people insisted on home isolation and did not monitor the oxygen levels and kept mixing with family members. Of all the cases coming to COVID-19 hospitals 90% recover and go back, but the remaining 10% reach in such a state from which it is difficult to save their lives,” said Dr. Sarma.

Providing critical care to COVID-19 positive patients under home isolation is not feasible for the government that is already over-burdened with patients in COVID-19 hospitals and Covid Care Centres. So, if you are having a fever and are not sure about your oxygen levels you should immediately get in touch with the nearest government healthcare centre.

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