While it is necessary to provide medical assistance to the patient infected with COVID -19, it is equally important for the caregiver to take precautionary measures. Here are a few instructions to be followed by the caregiver while giving care:
Mask: The caregiver should wear a triple layer medical mask appropriately when in the same room with the ill person. The front portion of the mask should not be touched or handled during use. If the mask gets wet or dirty with secretions, it must be changed immediately. Discard the mask after use and perform hand hygiene after disposal of the mask.
Hand hygiene must be ensured following contact with ill person or his immediate environment. Hand hygiene should also be practised before and after preparing food, before eating, after using the toilet, and whenever hands look dirty. Use soap and water for handwashing at least for 40 seconds. An alcohol-based hand rub can be used if hands are not visibly soiled. After using soap and water, the use of disposable paper towels to dry hands is desirable. If not available, use dedicated clean cloth towels and replace them when they become wet.
Exposure to patient: Avoid direct contact with body fluids of the patient, particularly oral or respiratory secretions. Use disposable gloves while handling the patient. Perform hand hygiene before and after removing gloves. Avoid exposure to potentially contaminated items in his immediate environment (e.g. avoid sharing cigarettes, eating utensils, dishes, drinks, used towels or bed linen).
Food must be provided to the patient in his room.
Utensils and dishes used by the patient should be cleaned with soap/detergent and water wearing gloves. The utensils and dishes may be re-used. Clean hands after taking off gloves or handling used items.
Use triple-layer medical mask and disposable gloves while cleaning or handling surfaces, clothing or linen used by the patient. Perform hand hygiene before and after removing gloves. The caregiver will make sure that the patient follows the prescribed treatment. The caregiver and all close contact should self-monitor their health with daily temperature monitoring and report promptly if they develop any symptom suggestive of COVID-19 (fever/cough/difficulty in breathing/ loss of smell and taste). If the caregiver suffers from any of these symptoms, he/ she should consult to a physician immediately who will guide you for COVID testing and treatment if required.