COVID-19: Guidelines on Managing Persons Under Monitoring (PUM) at Home
Who should undergo a monitored home quarantine?
— Persons who hane a history of travel to other areas of China and/or history of exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days, regardless of their nationality, race and age.
— Any person, regardless of nationality, race and age, who exhibits fever or any symptom of lower respiratory illness, and has history of travel to other countries with a confirmed case of COVID-19 even without any history of exposure
According to Department Of Health (DOH) guidelines, those who are undergoing home quarantine are not allowed to leave their rooms/ homes where they are quarantined “until they have been certified by the local health official to have finished the 14-day requirement for quarantine procedures.”
Persons Under Monitoring (PUM) should have an “initial coordination with the Local Government Epidemiologic Surveillance Unit on the logistical, administrative and clinical parameters to be standardized in any attempt to refer a PUM for transfer or consultation.”
Where should PUMs be quarantined?
— PUMs should be placed in a well-ventilated room with toilet and bathroom and his or her activities should be confided within his/her room.
— PUM need to move around the house and share space with others? Ensure that shared spaces are well ventilated. DOH suggests to keep the windows open.
— DOH also notes that people maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from the PUM and sleep in a separate bed.
— A person in good health should be assigned as the caretaker of the PUM.
What’s the proper hygiene for PUMs and other household members?
— The PUM is required to wear a tightly fitted surgical mask that covers the nose, mouth and chin whenever he/she is in the same room with another person.
— DOH said “the use of masks is not required” for people the PUM is interacting with.
— If the PUM is alone, they are not required to wear a mask.
— Hand contact with the mask should be avoided. If it gets wet or dirty with secretions, DOH suggests that it be disposed of and changed immediately.
— A mask can only be used for a maximum of 8 hours. It is not allowed to be washed or reused.
— After removing the mask, the person should wash hands using water and soap or rub hands with 70% alcohol or any hand disinfectant.
— DOH encourages PUMs to clean and disinfect surfaces they’ve touched (e.g. tables, doorknobs, bed frames and other furniture) daily and frequently with household disinfectant with diluted bleach solution (1-part bleach to 99 parts of water).
— Bathrooms and toilets should be disinfected once daily with the same diluted bleach solution.
— Clothes, bedclothes, and towels should be cleaned with regular laundry soap or machine wash at 60-90 C and sun-dry. DOH noted not to “shake soiled laundry.”
— When cleaning or handling surfaces, people should wear disposable gloves and are required to perform hand hygiene before and after cleaning.
What’s the proper food handling for PUMs on home quarantine?
— DOH said the assigned caretaker should serve the meal trays only up to the room door.
— After the PUM finishes his/her meal, the plates should also be picked up at the room door, while wearing disposable gloves to avoid contamination. Hand hygiene is required afterwards.
— Utensils and dishes used by the PUM can be cleaned with soap or detergent and it may be reused and not immediately discarded.
— Other household members should not share eating utensils, dishes and drinks with PUM.
Things to remember for household members who are with PUMs on home quarantine:
1. All PUMs and household members should perform hand hygiene following contact with PUM origin contact with their immediate environment.
2. Perform hand hygiene by washing hands with soap and water. If hands are not visibly soiled, 70% alcohol or any alcohol-based hand rub can be used.
3. When using soap and water, disposable paper towels to dry hands is desirable. If not available, use dedicated cloth towels and replace them when they become wet.
4. Hand hygiene should also be performed before and after preparing food, before eating, after using the toilet, and whenever hands look dirty.
5. Address safety concerns (e.g. accidental ingestion by children and fire hazards) on the use of alcohol-based hand rubs.
6. Respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette should be practiced by all at all times.
7. Respiratory hygiene refers to covering the mouth and nose during coughing or sneezing using surgical masks, tissues, flexed elbow, sleeves of clothes, or inside the neckline ofshirts, followed by hand hygiene.
8. Avoid direct contact with body fluids, particularly oral or respiratory secretions, and feces. Use disposable gloves to provide oral or respiratory care and when handling feces, urine and waste. Wash hands before putting on and after removing gloves.
9. Avoid other types of possible exposure to PUM or contaminated items in their immediate environment
PUMs who developed symptoms of COVID-19 should be reported immediately to Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) or Local Surveillance Officer for transport to nearest health facility.”
All household members of the PUM is are advised to seek immediate medical care when they start to develop signs and symptoms.