The Ministry of Public Health has clarified the guidelines on the treatment and management of COVID-19 patients (12th January).

Persons under investigation with a ‘positive’ result on the ATK test need to contact the National Health Security Office (NHSO) hotline number 1330 or add LINE @nhso. Officials are on standby to give advice and assess the patients’ symptoms.

Patients with no to mild symptoms and no other risk factors such as congenital diseases can opt to undergo Home Isolation or Community Isolation under constant medical attention through telemedicine by competent officials.

The policy is based on the fact that most people who have been diagnosed with Omicron variant usually have mild to no symptoms, this is due to the high vaccination rate in the country, and do not need to undergo treatment in hospital. The measure will also serve to help the public health system to effectively address critical cases.

However, if the symptoms worsen during Home Isolation or Community Isolation, officials will immediately coordinate the transfer of patients to the hospital, so they can receive proper medical attention.

Persons with a positive result from the ATK test with symptoms or risk factors such as underlying medical conditions are to be sent to the hospital for treatment, the criteria for which is as follows:

– Fever exceeding 39 Celsius for more than 24 hours;

– For adults, having rapid breathing of 25 times or more per minute;

– Low blood oxygen level (less than 94 percent);

– Belonging to high-risk groups with underlying medical conditions;

– For children, difficulty breathing, drowsiness, lesser intake of food/milk;

In case of negative result from the ATK test, there will be further consideration whether symptoms are present. If the symptoms are present, a repeat PCR test is required to check the results once again.

However, if there are still no symptoms present, it is necessary to consider risk from past contacts. If there is a history of close contacts in high-risk areas, self-quarantine and an ATK self-check every three days or when symptoms are present is required. If the result turns ‘positive’, contact NHSO.

For those who are not in high-risk areas, self-quarantine is not mandatory, but it’s required to follow the DMHT measures, which includes social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, and checking body temperature before entering different locations.