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Asymptomatic coronavirus patients in Bahrain can now opt for home isolation
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 06 - 06 - 2020

MANAMA — Asymptomatic coronavirus patients in Bahrain will no longer need to necessarily remain in hospitals or quarantine facilities as the authorities in the kingdom have decided to give them an option to self-isolate at home.
The new measure, which comes into force on Sunday (June 7) follows the directives of the Government Executive Committee chaired by Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa and is in line with the recommendation made by the country's National Medical Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Bahrain News Agency reported.
Explaining the move, the head of the taskforce, Lt. Gen. Dr. Shaikh Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, highlighted that all services provided and guidelines to be followed will be in line with standards approved by the World World Health Organization.
Positive cases will be directed to the Shamel Field Hospital (Comprehensive Disability Center) for triaging and assessment. Patients who meet the set criteria and opt to self-isolate at home will be issued an electronic bracelet and receive the needed medical supplies for the isolation period. This will include masks, sterile gloves, and basic medications if required.
Dr. Shaikh Mohammed noted that all asymptomatic cases under home self-isolation will be monitored daily by health professionals and the "BeAware Bahrain" app. In this regard, Dr. Shaikh Mohammed further noted the importance of reporting any symptoms that may develop, adding that the home self-isolation period is 14 days and a ‘Self-Isolation Exit Test Appointment' will be required in order for patients to be officially discharged.
The following is the set criteria for the optional home self-isolation:
* Patients under 60 years of age
* Patients with no underlying chronic illnesses
* Patients who are asymptomatic, or with mild symptoms, and those not living with individuals with low immunity
* Patients must have access to a secluded area at the place of residence
* Patients who understand they must vigilantly follow the home self-isolation guidelines
The home self-quarantine measures will also be applied to those living in the same residence, and will follow the guidelines for contacts of active cases, which include the following:
* An appointment must be scheduled for testing
* Contacts of active cases must ensure they do not interact with others and do not leave their residence
* Should there be an urgent need to leave the residence, masks must be worn when in public settings
* An exit test must be conducted after 14 days.
The taskforce underscored the importance of following the home self-isolation guidelines. Those self-isolating must not interact with others at all times, use a separate room and bathroom, must not share personal tools and utensils, observe personal hygiene, regularly wash their hands with soap and water, wear protective masks in case of leaving the house for an emergency, dispose of waste within a separate trash bag, and ensure the waste is not added to household waste until 72 hours have passed.
The taskforce noted that in conjunction to the optional home self-isolation measures provided, the Kingdom's isolation and treatment capacity has increased to reach 7,240 beds, with a current occupancy of 5,546 beds. Quarantine centers' capacity stands at 3,410 beds, with 487 being occupied. The taskforce further noted that COVID-19 medical treatment and health care remains free of charge across all quarantine and isolation treatment centers, with priority for active COVID-19 cases experiencing symptoms. Options for those wishing to receive treatment at a private facility are also provided, at the patient's own expense.
The taskforce concluded by emphasizing the importance for all to vigilantly follow the guidelines issued by various authorities in order to ensure the safety and health of the community.

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