Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued guidelines to follow on detection of suspect/confirmed Covid-19 case in a non-Covid-19 health facility.

The move comes after some hospitals closed down following the detection of Covid-19 among a few of their health care workers.

Following are the actions to be taken on detection of a positive case in a  non-Covid-19 health facility:

  • Inform the local health authorities about the case.
  • Check the clinical status of the patient prior to referral to a designated Covid-19 facility.
  • The patient should be immediately isolated to another room (if currently being managed in a shared ward/room). Such patients should be masked and only a dedicated healthcare worker should attend this case.
  • If the clinical status of the case permits, transfer the patient to a Covid-19 isolation facility. Complete case records of such patients must be made available to the receiving hospital.
  • Standard precautions need to be followed while transporting the patient. Disinfection process at the facility and the ambulance needs to be done.
  • All those who have come in contact with the patient should be quarantined.
  • Close contacts (other health care worker and support staff) of the confirmed case should be put on Hydroxychloroquine chemoprophylaxis for a period of seven weeks, keeping in mind the contraindications of HCQ.

In case a healthcare worker (HCW) is suspected to be positive, they need to put on a facemask and should be isolated. They should be immediately taken off the roster.  Rapidly risk stratify other HCWs and other patients that might have been exposed to the suspect HCW and put them under quarantine and follow up for 14 days.

All health facilities are required to have a staffing plan in place including a contingency plan for such an event to maintain continuity of operations.

The ministry has stated in the report that once a suspect/confirmed case is detected in a healthcare facility, the standard procedure of rapid isolation, contact listing and tracking disinfection will be practised and there is no need to shut down the whole facility.

An in-depth report on the guideline is available here.