Saturday, November 27

All you need to know about home quarantine

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Your questions about home quarantine answered Who should quarantine themselves at home now in Bengal? All those who have reached Bengal, from within India or abroad, in the past two weeks, a health department guideline says. All means all, regardless of whether they came in contact with any foreign traveller, whether they arrived by plane, train or bus or whether they show any Covid-19 symptoms.

Today is March 26. Those who entered Bengal after March 11 midnight must quarantine themselves at home for at least 14 days. The incubation period between infection and symptoms appearing can range from two days to 14 days, according to Roger Highfield, science director at the Science Museum Group.

A person going for home quarantine is expected to fill in a form issued by the local administration that mentions the date of start and the date of end of the quarantine and also the date of his or her arrival at home. The form also mentions that disobedience of the law could attract penal action.

Over 21,000 persons in Bengal were in home quarantine as of March 24 night. But when I came out of the airport on March 20, no one told me about this? What should I do now? According to the home-quarantine guideline, a person arriving in the country must be in home quarantine for at least 14 days from the day of arrival in India. Also, inform the health department of your state by calling the helpline or Covid-19 control room that you have arrived recently and are in home quarantine. It would be a responsible thing to do because then the department would be aware of your presence and call you to enquire about your health. Isn’t everybody under lockdown for 21 days? So, aren’t we all in home quarantine? No. Lockdown and home quarantine are not the same.

Lockdown means you cannot step out unless you want to buy essentials or there is a medical emergency or you are part of an activity that has been listed as an essential service.

Home quarantine means you are isolating yourself in your home from others. You cannot step out at all. In fact, if your house has family members who are not covered by the quarantine requirement, you are advised to stay inside a room earmarked for you and observe social distancing even from other family members. You said home quarantine should be for “at least 14 days”? So, it can be more than two weeks? Yes. A Bengal government official said the first 14 days were the phase of active quarantine, during which a government representative would call the quarantined person every day to know whether he or she has developed any Covid-19 symptom.

During the next two weeks, the person would be under passive quarantine, during which he or she has to report to the government helpline if any symptom develops.

If a person being quarantined becomes symptomatic, all his contacts will be homequarantined (for 14 days) and followed up for an additional 14 days or till samples test negative for the coronavirus. If my neighbour has returned from abroad on March 22 but he is not observing home quarantine, what should I do? The first option is try to talk to the neighbour on the phone gently and explain to him or her the rules. If you find it awkward, request a relative of the neighbour or an elder in the housing complex or neighbourhood to persuade the person to go into quarantine.

Remember, police are under tremendous pressure to carry out innumerable tasks. Try not to disturb them as far as possible.

If gentle persuasion does not work, you can try the following helpline numbers: 1800313444222, 03323412600 (Bengal’s number) +91-11-23978046 (the Cen- tre’s number) 100 (police’s distress call number) Can my quarantined neighbour make a quick trip to the grocery next door? Not at all. Your quarantined neighbour is not supposed to step out of the room where he is isolated. Stepping out will mean exposing others to the risk of contracting the virus. If my neighbour cannot step out to buy essentials, how will he or she survive, especially if all members of his nuclear family have just returned from outside the state? The family should seek help from neighbours about their daily needs and request them to get their supplies.


Source: The Telegraph

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