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Coronavirus: some positives leave mandatory isolation earlier than they should

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Photo: CNA

Some people who test positive for Covid-19 fail to comply with the 14-day compulsory self-isolation period, the health ministry said on Thursday in an announcement restating the guidelines for people in self-isolation.

According to the contact tracing team, several positive coronavirus cases ended mandatory isolation period before they completed the full 14 days, “either through instructions from their personal doctor, or  on their own initiative”.

The ministry reiterated the protocol for people who test positive and their close contacts, highlighting that everyone who tests positive must remain in self-isolation for a minimum of 14 days.

“Only close contacts can be released on the 10th day with a negative PCR test, not the positive cases,” the ministry said.

Coronavirus cases are considered those who test positive with a rapid antigen or a PCR test.

Those must immediately start self-isolating and contact their personal doctor.

Anyone who tests positive is instructed not to visit a rapid testing site to confirm their results “as there is a risk of spreading the virus to others there,” the announcement added.

An official from the tracing team will contact positives within 24 hours from completion of the test. The person must abide by the self-isolation guidelines posted in Greek on the health ministry’s website.

Personal doctors are then responsible to monitor the condition of their patients who have tested positive and to release them from isolation after the completion of the two weeks, as well as to prescribe sick leave for the corresponding period.

According to the announcement, the contact tracing team is responsible for people who are not registered with Gesy.

Following the call from a health ministry official, the person receives the self-isolation guidelines through SMS or email, along with instructions to report anyone they came in contact with two days before they presented symptoms or two days before they tested positive if they are asymptomatic.

The information submitted by the patient “will be used confidentially to identify the source of infection of the positive case and locate their contacts,” the ministry said.

People who are close contacts of positive cases however are released from self-isolation only after the completion of 14 days since they came in contact with the case, or with a negative PCR test after 10 days. The personal doctor is not responsible for the release of close contacts.

Close contacts must undergo a PCR test following an arrangement with the state hospitals and are also instructed to not visit rapid testing sites. They also receive instructions in writing.

Meanwhile the ministry said that “medical and other staff working in hospitals can return to work on the 7th day with a negative PCR test and in consultation with the local infection committee but must remain in a state of social self-isolation outside of work for the remainder of the required time.

People who have been identified as close contacts may also complete a medical certificate that allows them to stay home for public health reasons and apply to receive payment from the social insurance fund.

For general information people may contact 1474, while to report symptoms positive cases can contact 1420.

For issues concerning contact tracing 22771923 or via email at [email protected].

To report violations of the mandatory self-isolation period the public can call 22606789.

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