Coronavirus: Centre issues fresh guidelines for rural areas

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Coronavirus Guidelines (Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels)
Coronavirus Guidelines (Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels)

New Delhi : As coronavirus cases have started to come in the rural areas, the Centre has issued fresh guidelines on Sunday to ensure better health infrastructure in coming days. It advised peri-urban and rural areas to plan a minimum 30-bed Covid Care Centre for asymptomatic cases with comorbidities or mild cases where home isolation is not feasible.

Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits should be made at all public health facilities including sub-centres or health and wellness centres and Primary Health Centres, the Union Health Ministry said.

The Central government notified that after urban arear, peri-urban, rural and tribal areas have also started to report cases of coronavirus in the nation.

It said Covid Care Centres (CCC) can admit a suspect or confirmed case but should have separate areas for suspected and confirmed cases with preferably separate entry and exit for each.

"Suspect and confirmed cases should not be allowed to mix under any circumstances," the SOP said.

According to the SOP, in every village, active surveillance should be done for influenza-like illness/ severe acute respiratory infections (ILI/SARI) periodically by ASHA with help of Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committee (VHSNC).

Symptomatic cases can be triaged at village level by tele-consultation with Community Health Officer (CHO), and cases with comorbidity or low oxygen saturation should be sent to higher centres.

Identified suspected cases should be immediately taken to the Rapid Antigen Test facility, in accordance with ICMR guidelines.

CHOs and ANMs should be trained in performing Rapid Antigen Testing. Provision of RAT kits should be made at all public health facilities including Sub-centres, Health and Wellness Centres and Primary Health Centres, the document said.

“Nearly 80-85 per cent Covid -19 cases are asymptomatic/ mildly symptomatic. These patients do not require hospitalisation and may be managed at home or in Covid care isolation facilities,” the SOP stated.

Since managing oxygen saturation is the key in treatment, the government asked centers to have enough pulse oxymeter and thermometers.

“Home Isolation kit shall be provided to all such cases which should include required medicines such as Paracetamol 500 mg, Tab. Ivermectin, cough syrup, multivitamins (as prescribed by the treating doctor) besides a detailed pamphlet indicating precautions to be taken, medication details, monitoring proforma for patient condition during home isolation, contact details in case of any major symptoms or deterioration of health condition and the discharge criteria,” the SOP stated.