As of 22nd July 2021, The Ministry of Health (MOH) has advised that if you are COVID-19 positive but experiencing non-life-threatening symptoms, you must remain at home and practice isolation and home quarantine. As the guidelines continue to be updated, we have created an all-in-one guide on quarantining at home.
I’m COVID-19 Positive, What Do I Do?
If you are experiencing mild symptoms, you are advised to remain at home and not required to report to the nearest District Health Office. If your health status MySejahtera has not been updated, you must update it in the MySejahtera app.
Continue to practice social distancing, maintain a good handwashing routine and proper cough etiquette while under home quarantine. Good cough etiquette is coughing or sneezing into a tissue and immediately washing your hands afterwards. If you don’t have a tissue, cough in your elbows instead of your hands. If you are currently living at home with family, isolate yourself immediately and remove any personal items that are in a shared area. For added safety, do set aside your own cutleries or eating utensils throughout the period of your home quarantine.
Preparing Your Room For Home Quarantine
Whenever possible, you must isolate yourself in a room ALONE. If you have options, choose to isolate in a room with windows as this can help with reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Ensure that the room and if possible, the entire house is well ventilated to help reduce indoor airborne contaminants.
At the same time, it would be best to isolate in a room with an attached bathroom for your use only. If this is not possible, a shared bathroom can be used but must be disinfected after every use with a chlorine or bleach solution.
Below is a guide on how to use bleach and the amount of water needed for disinfection:
Be sure to thoroughly clean and focus on key areas that are being used by multiple members of the household. This includes the sink area, shower valve, door handles, toilet bowl and any grab bar or towel rails. You should also remove any personal items each time you have finished using the bathroom, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, slippers and towels to avoid the risk of infection.
To maintain proper cleaning practices, you are also advised to change bedsheets, pillow sheets and towels daily.
Laundry & Cleaning While Under Home Quarantine
Your dirty clothes and bedding should be separated from the rest of the household and placed in a tied up plastic bag before each wash. If you or your loved ones are handling the laundry of someone with COVID-19, be sure to double mask and use disposable hand gloves when handling the unwashed clothes and bedding. If any over the dirty laundry has any visible bodily fluid, blood or stool, keep it as far away from your body as possible.
You must not shake the unwashed laundry as this spreads the virus into the air. Regular laundry detergent can be used to clean unwashed items but you are recommended to wash it at the highest or warmest temperature possible. Once the laundry has been put away for washing, do remember to take off your disposable hand gloves before touching other surfaces and wash your hands immediately
Similarly, once cleaned, you should also avoid shaking out the clothes, towel and bedding to avoid contaminating the air with any residual viruses. Ideally, the clothes must be dried in the sun when possible. Once the clothes and bedding have been hung, wash your hands as soon as possible to reduce transmission risk.
Disposing COVID-19 Positive Waste
As a COVID-19 patient in isolation, you must be supplied with a number of plastic bags for the duration of your isolation. Your disposable items such as used tissues, masks, food waste should then be discarded in the plastic bag provided.
You must not leave the room to dispose of your own waste and a family member can assist you with it. They are also not advised to enter your room and must use a mask, gloves or even eye protection when handling the waste. For added protection, the waste of the COVID-19 should be placed in a fresh plastic bag before handing it over to the waste disposal service.
Once the waste has been discarded, remove and discard protective items and wash your hands thoroughly.
Maintaining Good Mental & Physical Health Under Home Quarantine
Your temperature should be monitored twice daily and you could also purchase an oximeter to routinely check the oxygen levels in your body. If you develop a fever, cough or notice a sudden drop in your oxygen levels, you should seek medical help immediately at the nearest COVID-19 hospital.
Similarly, it is also important to protect your mental health during self-quarantine. The lack of autonomy and increased sense of isolation can greatly impact your physical and mental wellbeing. During home quarantine, continue to maintain a healthy routine that includes physical exercise, safe communication with friends and family and staying connected to the outside world.
Household & Caregiver’s Health
While caring for a person with COVID-19, it is also important to look out for symptoms in yourself. Caregivers who have shown symptoms must get tested and stay home for the full duration of the home quarantine (10 days).
If any of the remaining household members become unwell, they should follow the same guidelines set out above and monitor their conditions closely.
Combating the Spread of COVID-19
The easiest way to avoid the spread of COVID-19 is by staying at home and staying away from others. Although prolonged isolation from home quarantine can be difficult, we must continue to do our part in curbing the spread of COVID-19. As more Malaysian citizens are getting vaccinated, we can hold out hope that we are on the right track towards recovery.