Armoured with a mere rain coat, the ASHA are entrusted with a vital task of reaching out directly to those people who are on home quarantine and deliver instructions of Dos and Don’ts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the State health department, the ASHA are to instruct the person on quarantine to stay in well-ventilated room separated from other people and pets and maintain respiratory etiquette: cough or sneeze in the tissue paper, flexed elbow and away from others.
- In shared spaces, maintain a distance of 2 meters and wear a mask when in proximity with other people.
- Should preferably have attached separated toilet.
- Restrict his/her movement within the house.
- Take special care to stay away from elderly people, pregnant women, children and person with co-morbidities.
- Do NOT attend any social/religious public gathering e.g. wedding condolences, etc.
- Wash hand often thoroughly with soap and water (at least 40 seconds) or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 20 seconds) especially after coughing and Sneezing, and before and after eating, drinking and using the wash room.
- Avoid sharing household items with other people at home (e.g. dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding. etc.
- Any used mask should be considered as potentially infected.
- If symptoms appear (cough/fever! difficulty in breathing). He/she should immediately inform the ASHA Or the nearest health centre.
Instruction to family members of person being home quarantined/isolated:
- Household members should stay in different room and be separated from the person as much as possible.
- Only one assigned family member should be tasked with taking care of the person and should help with groceries, prescription and other personal needs.
- Avoid shaking the soiled linen or direct contact with skin.
- Pets should be cared for by household members and should be kept separate from the person.
- Stay at least 2 meters away from those who are coughing.
- Wash hands before and after eating, drinking and using the washroom with soap and water (at least 40 seconds) or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 20 seconds)
- All non-essential visitors should be prohibited.
- In case the person being quarantined becomes symptomatic, all his close contacts will be home quarantined for 14 days and followed up for an additional 14 days or till the report of such cases turns out negative on lab testing.
Since the virus stays in the faeces for 35 days, the discharged patient and the family members is also advised to take the following precautions at the time of discharged:-
- After defecation close the commode lid and flush the toilet immediately.
- Open defecation should be discouraged.
- Proper hand washing with soap after using the toilets.
- Better avoid using the same toilet by the patient and others for 35 days, if it is not possible, avoid usage for at least 30 minutes after patient usage.
- Toilet must be cleaned with soap and water, then with 1% hypoclorite (bleaching Powder) Solution for period of 10 minutes and it is to be done every 4 hours.
Methods of preparation of 0.5% Hypochlorite Solution:-
Mix 3 levelled teaspoons of commercially available bleaching powder in 1litre of tap water and stir well. The prepared solution can be used within 6-8 hours or change whenever it becomes milky white or red in colour.
The prepared solution can be used as follows:
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the quarantined person’s room (e.g. bed frames. tables, etc.) daily.
- Clean and disinfect toilet surfaces daily with regular household bleach solution phenolic disinfectants.
- Soak clothes, bed linens and cotton mask used by the person in the prepared solution for 30 minutes separately, then wash using common household detergent and dry in the sun.
- Place all used disposable masks and other contaminated waste in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste and wash hands with soap and water/ alcohol- based hand rub.