Karnataka issues discharge guidelines for those recovered from Omicron


The state government on Friday issued an exit policy for recovered Covid patients with the Omicron variant. State Health Commissioner Dr Randeep has instructed district and BBMP health authorities to follow the discharge policy “for Covid-19 patients (Omicron variant) in institutional isolation until further notice”.

In mild, moderate and severe cases (including immunocompromised HIV patients, transplant recipients, malignant tumors), the patient may be discharged after 10 days of onset of symptoms if there is no fever, d shortness of breath or any other symptoms for the last three consecutive days before discharge without antipyretics (medicine used to prevent or reduce fever).

The patient must maintain a saturation greater than 95% for the last four consecutive days without oxygen supply. There should be resolution of clinical signs and symptoms based on the investigation report.

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Patients should undergo repeat testing for inflammatory markers such as S Ferritin, S.LDH, D-Dimer, and CRP at discharge. These should be in the normal range or in a decreasing trend. Patients will only be discharged after two negative RT-PCR reports 24 hours apart. If the report is positive, the swab test should be repeated after 48 hours.

Upon discharge, the patient should be instructed to quarantine at home and monitor their health for an additional seven days. The District Surveillance Officer (DSA) monitors these people at home for their state of health. They will be tracked by the remote monitoring team in the community and using the quarantine app.

In home quarantine, RT-PCR is repeated on the sixth day of home quarantine, if negative, patients can be released from home quarantine. All patients quarantined at home after discharge should monitor for new symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, weakness, etc. If any of these symptoms are detected, they are immediately advised to consult the doctor.

If there is no facility for home quarantine, institutional quarantine is advised.

Since the circular does not mention Omicron suspects awaiting genomic sequencing results, Dr. K Ravi, Professor of Medicine and Chairman of the State Covid-19 Clinical Expert Committee clarified to DH saying “Even Omicron suspects who test Covid positive at the airport will be sent to designated hospitals. If they test Omicron positive they will remain in hospital, if negative the existing protocol for other Covid patients will apply wherein asymptomatic patients do not need to be hospitalized.

Any deviation from the exit policy will be taken seriously, Randeep said in his Dec. 9 order. The state government has so far only identified two designated hospitals for Omicron patients: Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru and Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Bengaluru.

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