Home care for mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 cases

Some practical steps that can be followed for mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 cases.

This assumes that home rapid antigen test kits are available and RTPCR is either unavailable or RTPCR results are taking too long (e.g. in remote areas or when lab capacities are overwhelmed during a surge)

This is not a substitute for medical advice. Please do NOT self-medicate. 

  1. Symptoms of COVID can be any of the following 
    cough, cold, sore throat, stomach issues, diarrhoea, fever, breathing difficulty, excessive fatigue, body ache 

  2. If anyone reports any of the above symptoms – suspect COVID

  3. Reassure them & tell them to immediately isolate 

  4. Anyone who shares room/house or has frequent contact with person is also suspect for COVID

  5. Use video phone call / send video links to help the person to conduct home rapid antigen test on their own.

  6. Even a very faint double line on the test means patient is positive & infectious

  7. If person has any symptoms they have to isolate (irrespective of test result

  8. Food, water and other essentials to be kept outside the room

  9. Encourage fresh air, sunlight and open windows if possible.

  10. Ensure person has pulse oximeter and thermometer for monitoring

  11. The single most important thing is to MONITOR OXYGEN levels using pulse oximeter.

  12. If patient has diabetes they should have glucometer to monitor blood glucose 

  13. If patient has additional risk factors - >60 or <18, immunocompromised, pregnant, child, obesity, heart / lung / kidney disease, diabetes etc. Please consult a physician. 

  14. Medicines as per symptoms (always ask “do you have any allergies” before giving any medicines
    Fever – Paracetamol (Adults can take 4-5 tablets in 24 hours)
    Paracetamol is safe (even up to a total dose of 4 gms a day for adults if no liver issue)

    Cold, cough – Cetrizine or Allegra + advise salt water gargle
    Body ache, headache – Ibuprofen
    Stomach gas, acidity – Pantoprazole
    Diarrhoea – Plenty of ORS and fluids
    Advise adequate fluid intake (urine colour should be light) 

  15. Patient can move around in their room if they have energy. 

  16. They should try to lie/sleep on stomach or side and not flat on back. 

  17. Other medicines like doxycycline, ivermectin, azithromycin, fabiflu are useless & potentially harmful for COVID. 

  18. Duration of isolation - minimum 5 days. Repeat home rapid antigen test on 6th day. 

  19. If symptoms resolve AND rapid test is negative by 6th day – isolation can end but person should limit interaction and be rigorous in masking for 5 more days

  20. If rapid test is positive – continue isolation till rapid test is negative & symptoms resolve. 

  21. If oxygen falls below 94% seek medical advice for oxygen, steroids & other medicines. 

  22. If hospital bed is available do NOT keep patients who need oxygen at home. 

  23. If any unvaccinated or single dose vaccinated person gets COVID – be extra vigilant

  24. Note - Ideally only those who have had two shots of vaccine and have no co-morbidities should be assigned any tasks that may require contact with COVID patients or suspected cases.

Medicines and Equipment to keep handy 

  1. Pulse Oximeter

  2. Thermometer

  3. BP machine

  4. Paracetamol

  5. Cetrizine or Allergra

  6. Ibuprofen

  7. Pantoprazole

  8. ORS

  9. Budesonide inhaler (only use under medical advice)

  10. N95 masks

Contacts – keep the following phone numbers handy

  1. Local Doctor – GP / family medicine / internal medicine

  2. Paediatrician (if anyone less than 18 at home) 

  3. Obstetrician (for anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding)

  4. Ambulance with oxygen support 

  5. Hospitals

  6. 24 hour pharmacy

Disclaimer

This tip sheet is meant to be educational & suggestive and is not a substitute for medical advice.

The home care guidelines in your country, state or institution may vary from this.

Please follow what is locally advisable.

We regret that this guidance is currently available only in English. If anyone wishes to translate this into their local languages please get in touch with us. Thanks

Credits. Dr. Sonali Vaid, Dr. Ankur Sooden, Dr. Shivangi Shankar

Last Updated. 5th Jan 2022

For any feedback or questions please email incluvelabs@gmail.com