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Stigmatisation of Covid-19 Patients In Home Quarantine Should be Discouraged To Fight The Pandemic Together

As the state’s covid-19 graph continues to rise and as more and more cases come to light, the state government, on July 22, permitted ‘home

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Stigmatisation of Covid Patients
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As the state’s covid-19 graph continues to rise and as more and more cases come to light, the state government, on July 22, permitted ‘home isolation’ for asymptomatic positive Covid-19 patients. Several states across the country had already begun this process earlier.

This not just reduces the burden on health care infrastructure within the state, but also allows patients to isolate safely within the comforts of their homes.

However, other issues have risen too with this decision. Many have raised apprehensions of proper monitoring of these home isolated patients, which the state has clarified that IMA doctors, along with the administration will monitor the home isolated patients on a regular basis.

Moreover, one is aware of the social stigmatization of patients, or even frontline health workers face with the coronavirus pandemic.

Health Minister, Vishwajit Rane issued a stern warning against any housing societies or colonies that stigmatize covid patients who choose to opt for home isolation. This comes after several complaints were addressed to the administration of residential areas creating problems for those opting for home isolation.

“They have no authority to do so. Any complaint of stigmatization will be taken very seriously,” the Health Minister said.

Several residents have also opined that the decision of opting for home isolation for covid positive varies from person to person, and it largely depends on amenities that one has available at hand when the situation arises.

“This option of home isolation is best if one has a separate house or a room to isolate themselves, with not having to share any other facilities in the house,” said a resident.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), Goa branch has informed that they will be taking care of asymptomatic patients who opt for home isolation. This method, as indicated by IMA, will be a private-public partnership model with the Goa government.

Residential areas and societies have been warned sternly to not create problems for those opting for this facility of home isolation. “This decision of home isolation is a personal choice of a person, and as a society, one cannot oppose it,” said a society member of an apartment building in the city. “Moreover, we need to support and be together during these times,” she added.

Another local, who claimed he would be willing to opt for home isolation said that he would prefer this rather than having to go to a covid care center.

“The social stigma around the around the virus can at times make it tough for people to opt for home isolation, and as such people shouldn’t stigmatize people,” said another local resident.

“Moreover, this option is not feasible for a relatively big family that is limited to just two bedrooms, as it gets tough to manage isolation,” she said.

Additionally, others also cited proper monitoring of home isolated patients as a concern so that these people avoid violating the guidelines mandated. The state currently has 127 patients under home isolation.

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