What you should do when someone you know tests positive for COVID-19

June 9, 2020

What you should do when someone you know tests positive for COVID-19
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Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients are advised to home isolate. If you have to care for a patient in home isolation, follow these precautions to protect yourself from infection even as you provide support for the patient in need.

Patient support

  • Ensure that the patient has a separate room and bathroom for stay in complete isolation
  • Ensure that the room is well ventilated so as to remove respiratory droplets
  • Know the instructions given by the doctor and ensure that the patient follows them
  • Make sure the patient drinks plenty of fluids and rests-unless specified by your doctor
  • Make sure the patient wears a mask when he/ she is around other people, including you
  • Get groceries, prescription medications and other items they may require delivered on time
  • If emergency symptoms develop, get the patient to the hospital immediately

Emergency symptoms you should look out for:

  • Breathing trouble/Difficulty
  • Chest pain or pressure in the centre of the chest
  • New onset confusion
  • Inability to wake up or stay awake,Feeling Drowsy
  • Bluish discolouration of lips,fingers or toes


If you are the caregiver

  • Always maintain at least 6 feet distance from the patient
  • Avoid visitors
  • Always wear gloves when entering the patient’s room to deliver food or take away dishes
  • Wash patient’s utensils in hot water
  • Remove gloves and wash hands with soap and water
  • Keep everything the patient uses separately
  • Do not share patient’s dishes, cups, towels, gadgets etc.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser, especially after being near the patient or in the patient’s room
  • Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands


  • Clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, switches, tables, taps etc.
  • Dirty items have to be cleaned with soap and water and then disinfected
  • Clean mobiles and other electronics by spraying disinfectants according to manufacturer’s instructions or wipe them with alcohol wipes that are at least 70% alcohol
  • If the patient has a separate bathroom, clean only soiled areas when necessary. If the patient is capable, he/she could clean the bathroom when necessary
  • If you have a common bathroom, wait for as long as you can after the patient uses it, wear a cloth mask and then clean and use the bathroom.


  • Wear disposable gloves while handling dirty laundry
  • Wash hands after removing gloves
  • Regular wash with soap and water will disinfect the clothes
  • Dry them under the sun
  • Clean and disinfect the clothes hamper
  • Wash hands immediately afterwards


  • Use a lined closed trash can
  • Place all waste and trash from patient and his/her room in a separate trash can
  • Wear gloves while disposing of the garbage bags or trash
  • Wash hands immediately afterwards

If you are the primary caregiver, then you should stay home and monitor your health while taking care of the patient and for fourteen days after your last contact with the patient. If you develop a fever, sore throat, cough or any other symptom, call your doctor or the helpline immediately.

Just remember, we are fighting COVID-19 disease and not COVID-19 patients. Give them compassionate care from the required distance. A comforting word or deed will go a long way in enhancing the patient’s fight against the coronavirus. Together let’s win this war on SARS=CoV-2.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.



Dr. J. Prabhakaran

Dr. J. Prabhakaran

MBBS, MD (Internal Medicine)

Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine and Diabetology

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