Karnataka guidelines for discharge of patients recovered from Omicron variant of COVID-19


The Health Department of Karnataka released guidelines on discharge of patients infected with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 on December 10. Patients can be discharged if they are symptom-free after 10 days of onset of symptoms and are negative in two RT-PCR tests 24 hours apart.

Patients with mild infection can be discharged after 10 days of onset of symptoms if they have no fever or any other symptom for the last three consecutive days before discharge (without antipyretics). The patient should maintain a saturation of above 95% for the last 4 consecutive days (without oxygen support).

For those with moderate infection, apart from the above criteria, there should be resolution of breathlessness and other clinical symptoms (based on the report of investigations). However, discharge for those with severe infection, including immunocompromised (HIV patients, transplant recipients and those with malignancy), will depend on complete clinical recovery.

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According to the circular, inflammatory markers (S. Ferritin, S.LDH, D-Dimer and CRP) should be normal or on a decreasing trend during a repeat test at the time of discharge for all patients.

“The patient can be discharged only after two negative RT-PCR reports 24 hours apart. If the report is positive, the test should be repeated after 48 hours. At the time of discharge, the patient should be advised home quarantine and self-monitoring of health for seven days. A repeat RT-PCR test should be done on the sixth day of discharge. If the report is negative, the patient can be released from home quarantine. If there’s no facility for home quarantine, institutional quarantine is advised,” according to the guidelines.

Following discharge from the hospital, the district surveillance officer (DSO) should follow up the patients at their homes through the tele-monitoring team in the community and using the quarantine app. All patients advised home quarantine after discharge need to watch for onset of any new symptoms like fever, cough, breathlessness, chest pain, weakness. If any of these are detected, they should immediately consult a doctor,” the circular states.

“All district and BBMP health authorities are instructed to follow the discharge policy for institutionally isolated COVID-19 (Omicron variant) patients until further orders. Any deviations from the above discharge protocol will be viewed seriously,” according to the circular.

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Sagar Biswas

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