WHAT TO DO IF YOU OR YOUR PARTNER/FAMILY MEMBER TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?
Our country is seeing a record high rise in the daily COVID-19 cases. Increasing patient numbers, unavailability of hospital beds, and drained oxygen supplies have overburdened India’s healthcare system.
If, after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus, one experiences mild upper respiratory tract symptoms like fever without shortness of breath or hypoxia, home isolation and care home is the best option in the current scenario.
If a family member at your home has tested positive, he/she must stay in the designated room and away from all other people in the home, especially the elderly and those with health conditions like hypertension, diabetes, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, renal problem, etc.
What to do if your partner or a family member tests positive:
As a caregiver should wear a triple layer medical mask appropriately if they happen to visit the patient’s room. Never touch the front portion of the mask, and if the mask gets wet or dirty with secretions, change it immediately. Discard the mask after use and perform hand hygiene after disposal of the mask.
As the caregiver, you should avoid touching your own face, nose or mouth.
You must maintain Hand hygiene following contact with an ill person or his immediate environment. Use soap and water for handwashing at least for 40 seconds. Alcohol-based sanitizer also works. Hand hygiene should also be practised before and after preparing food, before eating, after using the toilet, and whenever hands look dirty. After washing hands use of disposable paper towels to dry hands is desirable. If not available, use dedicated clean cloth towels and replace them when they become wet.
Things to Avoid:
Avoid direct contact with the body fluids of the patient, particularly oral or respiratory secretions. Use disposable gloves while handling the patient. Also, avoid exposure to potentially contaminated items of the patient in his/her immediate environment i.e. avoid sharing eating utensils, dishes, water bottle, drinks, used towels or bed linen.
Food must be provided to the patient in his/her room. The patient’s utensils and dishes must be dedicated and should be cleaned with soap/detergent and water wearing gloves. Try and add more fluids and cook healthy food items in the daily diet of the infected person.
Use a triple-layer medical mask and disposable gloves while cleaning or handling surfaces, clothing or linen used by the patient. Perform hand hygiene before and after removing gloves.
If the patient and the caregiver are using the same toilet, proper sanitization must be done after the infected person’s usage.
Watch out for the health vitals of the infected person, like temperature, oxygen levels and are they facing any breathing difficulties. Try and keep a positive environment at home. This will help the infected person recover quickly.