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‘Hospital-at-home’ treatment for COVID patients raises concerns

By Joy Mazahreh - Apr 08,2021 - Last updated at Apr 08,2021

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, many COVID patients resorted to home quarantine then transferred to hospitals only if conditions became severe (AFP file photo)

AMMAN — Since the outbreak of the pandemic, many COVID patients resorted to home quarantine then transferred to hospitals only if conditions became severe. 

With the Kingdom’s hospitals occupied with large numbers of COVID patients, many patients treat themselves at their homes while following the Ministry of Health’s home quarantine guidelines. 

However, many patients also start having severe symptoms at home, which forces them to seek “hospital-at-home” treatment immediately, allowing doctors and their equipment inside their homes. 

According to Ghazi Sharkas, assistant secretary general at the Primary Healthcare Services at the Ministry of Health, “hospital-at-home” treatment is a “dangerous” phenomenon today. 

During a television interview, he said that COVID patients at home do not realise how dangerous the virus can be. 

It is recommended to self-quarantine and seek home remedies when the symptoms are light, however, relying on “hospitals-at-home” treatment is different. It means that patients rely on doctors and their equipment when they actually require professional treatment inside a hospital. 

As an example, many patients might not benefit from ordering oxygen cylinders at home since they might need “high flow” which is not available at houses, Sharkas added. 

The Jordan Times met with several patients who described their experiences with “at-home” treatment after catching the coronavirus. 

“My experience was an easy one and my symptoms were light,” Rajaie who prefers to go by single name, told The Jordan Times. 

Sharkas urged the public to be attentive when it comes to treating the virus. Patients with chronic diseases have to be monitored with testing conducted regularly and recorded accurately, which highlights the importance of following the home quarantine guidelines that were provided by the ministry.  

In the television interview, Sharkas also said that COVID patients at home are checked upon regularly by professionals affiliated with the ministry. 

“The day my result came in, a doctor from the ministry called to ask about the symptoms. Besides, she told me what I should do as a COVID patient to protect my family members who are infected,” said Reem, a Jordanian in her 20s. 

Jessica, a Lebanese national residing in Jordan who prefers to go by single name, also noted that the Ministry of Health called at least once a day to check on her. 

Sharkas also stated that many “at-home” cases are arriving at hospitals after trying to be treated at home, which is one of the reasons behind the high number of fatalities occurring from advanced COVID cases. 

Salam, a Jordanian student, who prefers to go by single name,  explained how this was his mother’s case to The Jordan Times. After seeking “hospital-at-home” treatment, her symptoms worsened and she was transferred to a hospital immediately upon her family members’ advice who had medical backgrounds. 

Sharkas also noted that the current coronavirus wave seems to be stronger and more fatal to younger patients, compared with the previous one.

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