July, 2020: The traditional model of hospital-based Healthcare delivery in India has always been scarce and the spurt in the cases of COVID-19 has significantly increased the burden on the limited existing healthcare infrastructure in the country. However, the pandemic has also changed the dynamics of the healthcare delivery chain in India as 80 per cent of COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic or showing mild symptoms, reveals a report of Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The report also states that 80% of COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic or showing mild symptoms.
“Thanks to the government guidelines, we have been providing home isolation services to Fortis Hospital across the country, and also collaborated with the corporate like Tata, Dabur, ABFL and insurance companies for our HIP to manage the asymptomatic as well as the patients with mild symptoms. We have developed a customised Home Isolation Programme (HIP) under two caps — ‘COVID Essentials’ and ‘COVID Advanced.’ The former is meant ‘for low-risk individuals’ and the latter ‘for high-risk individuals. Home isolation is feasible and affordable for everyone. And, this will also decrease the burden on hospitals”, said Mr Vivek Srivastava, Co-Founder & CEO, HealthCare atHome (HCAH).
These patients are not required to go for hospital-based treatments and in this regard, the guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research say that persons clinically categorised as having very mild or pre-symptomatic (COVID-19) will have the option of home isolation provided they have the requisite facility at their residence. Understandably, the government recommends home isolation with the intent to ease the burden on the hospitals.
“We have been receiving overwhelming responses from patients amidst the COVID-19 panic as they are approaching us considering the feasibility of Home Isolation Programme (HIP). Two weeks ago, one of the perplexed patients with mild symptoms of COVID-19 reached out to our helpline, who was painstakingly responded by our HIP team. He was immediately connected to the concerned physician followed by a psychologist to ease his mental stress and a dietician. Subsequently, testing was done via hassle-free sample collection at home. Rest, our HIP team has managed remotely with the fast recovery of the patient”, said Dr Gaurav Thukral, COO, HealthCare atHOME (HCAH).
“In the last three months, the number of queries for our Home Isolation Programme (HIP) has increased significantly as we are receiving 250-300 queries per day. So far, we have treated over four thousand patients through our HIP. To start the HIP, first, we do an on boarding call with the patients and their family members by trained COVID-19 experts on how to implement HIP protocols. We provide complete training and education ‘On how to live in Home Isolation’ with IEC material. Caregivers are also available round the clock” added Dr Gaurav.
Regarding the allowance of home isolation for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Awanish Kumar Awasthi said, “So far, home isolation was not allowed in the state. But now we have decided to allow it with certain conditions and norms.
Amid the chronic shortage of hospital beds almost everywhere, Home isolation services turn out to be the most preferred and feasible choice. Recently, the UP government has decided to allow home isolation for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients under certain conditions.