The Ministry of Health issued a protocol of instructions on Monday to guide families caring for patients infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) at home, to prevent infection among families.
According to the list of instructions, the family member under isolation must be kept in a separate, specially designated room with personal hygiene items, including paper towels, sanitisers and alcoholic disinfectant. Their clothing should not be shaken to reduce the possible spread of the virus through the air.
Families are also encouraged to put a liner in the receptacles used to collect the patient’s clothing. The clothing can also be placed in a plastic bag that is thrown away after the patient’s clothes have been cleaned separately from the rest of the family’s.
The ministry recommended that clothes are washed at high temperature and with disinfectants added to the wash cycle and ironing process.
The instructions also outlined that carers should wear disposable gloves when dealing with the sick person’s laundry which should also be disposed of after every use. If gloves are not used when dealing with dirty laundry, carers should wash their hands well for 20 seconds.
A separate bathroom for the infected person has also been recommended, which should only be cleaned at intervals to reduce unnecessary contact with the sick person. Should a separate bathroom not be possible, cleaning and disinfection should occur every time following use by the patient.
Patients should also eat in their isolation room, using personal tools which should be washed and disinfected carefully with soap and running water. Allocating a lined rubbish bin for the patient’s waste and refuse is a must, with gloves needed when disposing of its contents, followed by careful handwashing.