In a containment strategy tweak, those with a mild form of the disease, or are pre-symptomatic, would have the option of home quarantining. But their homes ought to have self-isolation facilities, a full-time caregiver, and daily health-status reports given to the district surveillance officer.

Why is such a move done?

  • The Health Ministry has not explained what prompted this relative relaxation. Anecdotal evidence suggests doctors and health-care workers have been disproportionately vulnerable to the infection and a single case leads to entire hospitals being shut down.
  • Allowing home quarantine could be seen as health authorities inferring that quarantining in public facilities posed more risks.
  • The pre-symptomatic (mild illness) and the asymptomatic (no signs) did not benefit from treatment and were potent virus spreaders, and therefore endangered the staff and health workers. They also stretched State resources in maintenance.
  • Among those who tested positive, there were two pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic for every symptomatic.
  • The disease spread, it appears, is now beyond the ability of the state to contain, by quarantine, and it was far more prudent to fortify health workers and hospitals with the best facilities available to handle patients.
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