In the first half of July, the State Government allowed asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to recuperate through home quarantine subject to certain conditions. Announcing this decision, the State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stated, "Asymptomatic patients will have to ensure that their neighbors and housing societies have no objection to their home quarantine.
Also there should be no elderly persons in the family and the family should have a private physician to check the health condition of all members and the patient after every three hours. In a press conference the health minister specified that asymptomatic patients need to have a pulse oximeter at home and should be able to reach the hospital in a personal vehicle in case their condition deteriorates.
Although the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) had already stated that asymptomatic patients of COVID-19 can be allowed to quarantine at home, the Assam Government clearly pronounced that such a provision to patients can be granted only if they give a written undertaking that 'the government cannot be blamed for any eventuality'.
A written undertaking from asymptomatic patients is required before home quarantineHowever the new rules for asymptomatic patients have faced several criticisms as a section of people feel that it will lead to more possibilities of spreading the virus in the state. The Assam chapter of the Indian Medical Association has infact termed this new rule to be 'whimsical'.
However, this rule holds ground if we understand that the number of active COVID patients are fast outnumbering the number of beds available in the COVID- 19 centers and hospitals.
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