Experts say isolates more likely to infect others, war room head Munish Moudgil concurs
With Bengaluru now in the unenviable position of being the country’s second worst-affected city by Covid, home isolation – till recently seen as relieving the burden on the city’s medical infrastructure – is now increasingly being seen as the ‘villain’ by the medical fraternity.
According to experts, people in home isolation are much more likely to spread the infection to others at home. With hospitals in the state struggling to cope with moderate-to-serious Covid cases, home isolation was seen as a helpful supplementary measure for cases with mild or no symptoms. In fact, the trend caught on to the extent that BBMP had to shut down Covid Care Centres for want of asymptomatic patients. Some private hospitals added to the home isolation thrust by offering special packages.
According to the BBMP portal, 19,298 patients in Bengaluru are currently in home isolation. But it is a moot point whether a majority of them scrupulously adhere to Covid guidelines.
An expert said, “Home isolation is more likely to spread the infection to other members of the family. Three people are more likely to get infected in a family of four. Home isolation should reduce the burden on hospitals, but in fact the opposite is happening.” He added, “The situation gets even worse if the elderly members of a household get infected.”
Another doctor said, “Coronavirus infection can spread from person to person. Those with Covid must be provided with separate washrooms in separate rooms in homes. Households with a single bedroom are more likely to spread Covid-19 from home isolates to others in the house.”.
BBMP not blameless
On the other hand, there are patients in home isolation who accuse BBMP of neglecting them. In one such example, BBMP staff did not follow up with Indiranagar resident Karthik (name changed). “BBMP staff didn’t even come home to tell me what treatment I had to take,” he said.
The head of the state of Covid-19 war room, IAS officer Munish Moudgil, said, “Home isolates don’t take themselves seriously, forget social distancing, don’t follow rules, and are more likely to spread the infection to someone else.”