For the first time since ICMR changed its guidelines on home isolation of Covid-19 positive patients with mild or no symptoms, the Odisha government has put a couple from Kendrapara district in a home isolation facility.

The couple from Kendrapara municipality area was put in home isolation from May 19 after their reports returned positive, said Kendrapara district collector Samarth Verma. The couple who live in a rented house in Jaipura area under Kendrapara municipality had returned from Bangalore with their son on May 17.

After their return, the couple and their son stayed in a government quarantine centre in a high school in Bandhapada gram panchayat. On May 19, their swab samples were sent for Covid-19 testing. On May 25, the results of the swab test for the couple returned positive while it was negative for their son.

However, before the swab test results arrived, the couple had gone back to their rented home with their son.

“As the man was diabetic and his wife had issues with her spinal cord, their son had written to us requesting that they be allowed home isolation in view of their health conditions. As they were asymptomatic, we had allowed home isolation. Now that they have tested positive, we have asked them to stay in home isolation for 17 days instead of being admitted in a dedicated Covid-19 hospital as per ICMR guidelines,” Collector Verma said.

Additional chief secretary, health department, PK Mohapatra said though the ICMR in its amended guideline had allowed home isolation of asymptomatic Covid-19 positive patients in both rural and urban areas for patients with separate toilet facilities, Odisha was doing it in urban areas only.

“As the couple is unlikely to move out and have separate toilet facilities, they were not admitted in a Covid-19 hospital. Quarantine stickers have been put outside their home and the health officials from Kendrapara municipality will carry out regular surveillance. Their son, who tested negative is also staying in home isolation in that house,” said Mohapatra.

However, he said if such patients develop symptoms, they will be rushed to the nearby Covid-19 hospital.

Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19 cases in Odisha inched close to 1600 as 76 new positive cases were reported on Wednesday taking the total tally to 1,593. So far, 774 people have been discharged from various Covid-19 hospitals while the number of active cases in Odisha stood at 812.

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