The health ministry on Monday issued updated instructions as regards when confirmed coronavirus cases and their contacts can end self-isolation.
It noted that the preliminary guidelines it had issued at the end of May were based on the international bibliography available up to that time and the situation in Cyprus. With the development of the pandemic and increased scientific knowledge, it was deemed necessary to revise these instructions.
Bibliography of recent months supports a strategy on whether to end the isolation or not based on the existence of symptoms or not. This is in line with the majority of recently updated recommendations from international organisations.
Recent data show that particularly in people with light symptoms, it is rare for the virus to be cultivated from respiratory samples after 10 days since symptoms first manifested. In addition, people whose symptoms have subsided may test positive in a PCR test for several weeks, without them being infectious.
Instructions may change as the epidemic develops and scientific knowledge is formulated, it also clarified.
Asymptomatic person who remains asymptomatic throughout: end of self-isolation 14 days after taking of positive sample. Before release, contact must be made with the doctor to ensure that the above criteria are met.
Mild Covid-19 (general tiredness and/or >37.3°C fever, and/or aches and pains and/or loss of smell/loss of taste/ weakness) and medium Covid-19, (fever >38.5°C, weakness/tiredness, cough, symptoms that continue for more than two days CXR or CT (+) )
In cases where the Illness normally does not require hospitalisation.
No fever for at least three days (without use of antipyretics) and improvement in remaining symptoms AND once 14 days have passed since the start of the symptoms.
For those who are not hospitalised, they must contact their doctor before ending self-isolation so as to ensure they fulfil the criteria.
In the event of short-term hospitalisation where the patients’ clinical condition permits their discharge before the above criteria are met, they must remain in self isolation until all the above criteria are satisfied.
Such as difficulty breathing with breathing frequency of >30/minute and/or SpO2≤93% and on pulmonary infiltration >50% in an imaging examination of the lungs and/or breathing difficulties that require mechanical ventilation or problems requiring admission into the intensive care. Illness requiring hospitalisation.
No fever for at least three days (without use of antipyretics) and improvement in remaining symptoms AND once 20 days have passed since the start of the symptoms. Hospitalised patients who are discharged by their doctors must remain in self isolation until all the above criteria are satisfied.
Eg patients undergoing chemo for cancer, same as for serious Covid-19 cases. For those who are asymptomatic, 14 to 20 days depending on the case.
Residents of facilities for vulnerable groups
Residents of care homes, inmates, residents of facilities for asylum seekers etc
No fever for at least three days (without use of antipyretics) and improvement in remaining symptoms AND once 20 days have passed since the start of the symptoms. For those who are asymptomatic, 14 days.
The criterion of release from self-isolation based on two consecutive negative PCR tests taken with a space of at least 24 hours after the 14th day is recommended on a case by case basis after consultation with the epidemiological unit or the local infection committees at the hospitals(in the case of a hospitalized patient), for special categories such as immunosuppressed and those with a serious case of Covid-19 particularly when they are being transferred from the ICU to other hospital departments or to long term care facilities.