How to home quarantine?

Who is home quarantined?

Suspected cases and contact

Mild cases

What if you feel symptomatic?

Is your home eligible for quarantine?

  • Isolation Room: Well-ventilated single-room preferably with an attached/separate toilet (MoFHW[1]). It is preferred that the ventilation isn’t shared with other family members or neighbours (CDC[1]).
    - Separate toilet is important especially if patient has diarrhea (CDC[1]).
    - If another family member needs to stay in the same room, it’s advisable to maintain a distance of at least 1 meter between the two (MoFHW[1]). Though we wouldn’t recommend that in case of Mild case.
  • Distance from other people: Needs to stay away from elderly people, pregnant women, children and persons with co-morbidities like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, renal disease etc.within the household (MoHFW[1][2]).
    -It is preferred that other household members either be relocated or minimize contact with the patient in the home (CDC[1]).
  • Caregiver: A must have requirement for mild cases is that there must be someone with the patient to take care of them and monitor their health.
    - Care giver should be available to provide care on 24 x7 basis. A communication link between the caregiver and hospital is a prerequisite for the entire duration of home isolation (MoHFW[2]).
  • Basic infrastructure: Telephone, Electricity, Potable water, sewage etc.
  • Aarogya Setu App: Download Arogya Setu App on mobile (available at: and it should remain active at all times (through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) (MohFW[2]).
  • Resources: Food, Medication, Masks, Gloves, PPE, Hand hygiene (soap, sanitizer etc.), Cleaning products etc.
  • Primary Care: Caregiver, Medical advise and healthcare, Ambulance etc.

What to monitor and when to seek medical assistance?

Patient: Mild Case

  • The patient or caregiver shall monitor patient’s temperature at least twice a day on a daily basis.
  • If there is any deterioration of symptoms then medical assistance must be immediately sought.
  • Deterioration in symptoms may include:
    - Difficulty in breathing,
    - Persistent pain/pressure in the chest,
    -Mental confusion or inability to arouse,
    - Developing bluish discolorations of lips/face and
    - As advised by treating medical officer

Suspected case or contact and caregiver

  • The quarantined person and all family members who come in contact shall monitor their temperatures on a daily basis and be vigilant for respiratory symptoms.
  • If symptoms appear (cough/fever/difficulty in breathing), they should immediately inform the nearest health centre or call 011–23978046 (MoHFW[1]).
  • Symptomatic household or other close contacts should follow the same precautions recommended for the quarantined person (CDC[1]).
  • In the absence of fever or respiratory symptoms, household contacts need not limit their activities outside the home, unless otherwise required by quarantine regulations (CDC[1]). Though this is not recommended for caregivers in Mild cases.
  • In case the person being quarantined becomes symptomatic, all his close contacts will be home quarantined (for 14 days) and followed up for an additional 14 days or till the report of such case turns out negative on lab testing (MoHFW[1]).

When to discontinue?

Suspected cases and contact

Mild cases

What will it take to successfully home quarantine?


  • Functioning telephone or any other means to rapidly communicate with the health system
  • Potable water: The patient shall have access to drinking water at all times.
  • Sewerage system
  • Cooking source (and fuel)
  • Operable electricity
  • Operable heat source when required
  • Adequate environmental ventilation: Preferably not shared with other family members and neighbours.


  • Separate room or bedroom for the patient
  • Accessible bathroom


  • Food: Enough ration to last 14–17 days
  • Water: If dependent on bottled water, then enough to last 14–17 days for entire family.
  • Necessary medications
  • Medical masks (patient): Disposable masks to be replaced every 6–8 hours. Around 50 masks will be required.
  • Medical masks (care providers, household contacts): At least one triple layered mask shall be available for each individual.
  • Gloves: Disposable gloves for cleaning and handling any items associated with the isolated person.
  • Hand-hygiene items (soap, alcohol-based hand rub): Separate soaps and sanitisers for the isolated person and other family members.
  • Household cleaning products: Phenol, bleach, Sodium hypochlorite.

Primary care and support

  • Person to provide care and support: A primary caregiver shall be available at all times.
  • Access to medical advice and care: Qualified doctors, Access to ambulance in case of emergency.
  • Any at-risk people at home (e.g. children < 2 years of age, elderly > 65 years of age, immunocompromised people): If any at-risk people at home then ensure maximum distance from both the quarantined person and primary caregiver.

Precautions and Measures to take

Use Masks

Maintain distance from others

  • Needs to stay away from elderly people, pregnant women, children and persons with co-morbidities within the household (MoHFW[1]).
  • Limit the movement of the patient in the house and minimise shared space. Ensure that shared spaces (e.g. kitchen, bathroom) are well ventilated (keep windows open) (WHO[1]).
  • Household members should stay in a different room or, if that is not possible, maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from the ill person (e.g. sleep in a separate bed) (WHO[1]).
  • Other household members should use a different bathroom, if not possible and sharing the same bathroom, cleaning of taps, door knobs and utensils with water and soap are a must (WHO[3]).
  • Infected person should not have any visitors.
  • Patients should not leave the home for the duration of the isolation period, except as necessary for follow-up medical care. When movement outside the home is necessary, the patient should wear a mask, if tolerated, and should not use public transportation (CDC[1]).
  • An exception may be made for breastfeeding mothers. Considering the benefits of breastfeeding and the insignificant role of breast milk in the transmission of other respiratory viruses, a mother could can continue breastfeeding. The mother should wear a medical mask when she is near her baby and perform hand hygiene before and after having close contact with the baby (WHO[1]).

Wash hands

  • Hand hygiene should also be practised before and after preparing food, before eating, after using the toilet, and whenever hands look dirty (MoHFW[2]).
  • After using soap and water, use of disposable paper towels to dry hands is desirable. If not available, use dedicated clean cloth towels and replace them when they become wet (MoHFW[2]).
  • After touching body fluids (e.g., respiratory secretions, stool, urine, vomitus) and potentially contaminated surfaces and materials (e.g., linen) (CDC[1]).

Personal care and safety

  • Patient must take rest and drink lot of fluids to maintain adequate hydration
  • Follow respiratory etiquettes all the time.
  • The patient must strictly follow the physician’s instructions and medication advice.
  • The caregiver will make sure that the patient follows the prescribed treatment.
  • Avoid direct contact with body fluids of the patient, particularly oral or respiratory secretions. Use disposable gloves while handling the patient. Perform hand hygiene before and after removing gloves (MoHFW[2]).
  • Avoid exposure to potentially contaminated items in his immediate environment (e.g. avoid sharing cigarettes, eating utensils, dishes, drinks, used towels or bed linen) (MoHFW[2]).
  • Gloves are not intended to replace proper hand hygiene. Immediately after gloves are removed, they should be discarded and hand hygiene should be performed. Gloves must never be washed or reused (CDC[1]).

Cleaning and environmental sanitation

  • Avoid shaking the soiled linen or direct contact with skin. Use disposable gloves when cleaning the surfaces or handling soiled linen (MoHFW[1]).
  • Avoid sharing household items e.g. dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with other people at home (MoHFW[1]).
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the quarantined person’s room (e.g. bed frames, tables etc.) daily with 1%Sodium Hypochlorite Solution (MoHFW[1]).
  • Clean and disinfect toilet surfaces daily with regular household bleach solution/phenolic disinfectants (MoHFW[1]).
  • Clean the patient’s clothes, bed linen, and bath and hand towels using regular laundry soap and water or machine wash at 60–90 °C (140–194 °F) with common household detergent, and dry thoroughly (WHO[1]).
  • Depending on the context, either utility or single-use gloves can be used. After use, utility gloves should be cleaned with soap and water and decontaminated with 0.1% sodium hypochlorite solution. Single-use gloves (e.g. nitrile or latex) should be discarded after each use. Perform hand hygiene before putting on and after removing gloves (WHO[1]).
  • Gloves, masks, and other waste generated during home care should be placed into a waste bin with a lid in the patient’s room before disposing of it as infectious waste (WHO[1]).


Travelling for suspected cases

  • Wear a medical mask.
  • Avoid taking public transportation to the facility if possible; an ambulance can be called, or the ill contact can be transported in a private vehicle with all windows open, if possible.
  • The symptomatic contact should be advised to perform respiratory hygiene and hand hygiene and to stand or sit as far away from others as possible (at least 1 metre) when in transit and when in the health care facility.
  • Any surfaces that become soiled with respiratory secretions or other body fluids during transport should be cleaned with soap or detergent and then disinfected with a regular household product containing a 0.5% diluted bleach solution.





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Vardan Aggarwal

Vardan Aggarwal

Helping the next 10 million sustainable farmers achieve sustainability.

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