The Kerala government has revised the discharge protocol for COVID-19 patients. If a patient tests negative for the novel coronavirus once, the person can be discharged under criteria. Earlier, a COVID-19 patient had to test negative twice within 24 hours to be discharged.
If a patient, however, tests positive, the test will be repeated after every alternate day till the person tests negative for the novel coronavirus.
As per the new policy, a discharged patient should avoid non-essential travel for seven days.
Kerala‚Äôs discharge policy, however, differs from the revised guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in May. As per the Centre‚Äôs discharge policy, those who are asymptomatic or those who present with mild and moderate symptoms need not be tested for discharge. Those who have severe symptoms of COVID-19 need to test negative once for discharge.
According to the revised protocol published by the Kerala Health Department on July 1, asymptomatic patients can be tested 10 days after the first positive result, and can be discharged if negative.
Meanwhile, Category A patients, those having mild symptoms -- low grade fever, mild sore throat, cough, rhinitis or diarrhea -- can be discharged if tested negative once and if they have completed 14 days since the onset of symptoms and if the person has no symptoms since the last three days.
Category B patients, those have symptoms like high grade fever, severe sore throat or cough, can also be discharged after testing negative once if the patient has completed 14 days since onset of symptoms and is asymptomatic for the past three days.
But unlike Category A patients, tests can only be done 14 days after onset of symptoms or one day after resolution of symptoms.
Category C patients, those with severe symptoms -- like breathlessness, children with influenza like illness, underlying chronic conditions or immunocompromised patients -- can be discharged if clinically stable and tested negative 14 days after onset of symptoms.