Latest Update on COVID-19: Guidelines on mask, treatment and patient care



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Against the backdrop of the global resurgence of Covid-19 cases driven by Omicron subvariants, the World Health Organization (WHO) on January 13, 2023 updated its guidelines on mask use, treatment and patient care.




Key points of the updated COVID 19 related mask, treatment and patient care guidelines include:



  • Masks use remains a key tool against COVID-19
    • Use is recommended:
      • For anyone at high risk of severe COVID-19 exposure.
      • When in a crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated space.
      • As local risk assessment, like infectivity trends, level of vaccination coverage and community immunity may justify.



  • Isolation in patient care mix is now updated by the WHO as per following suggestions:
    • A COVID-19 patient testing negative on an antigen-based rapid test can be discharged early from isolation.


  • An untested patient with Covid-19 symptoms
    • Should remain in isolation for 10 days from the date of symptom onset, plus at least 3 days after resolution of their symptoms.


  • A person testing positive for Covid-19 but showing no signs or symptoms
    • Should remain in isolation for 5 days.


  • Isolation of people with COVID-19 can be done at home or at a dedicated facility, such as a hospital or clinic.




  • Nirmatrelvir-ritonavir (also known by its brand name ‘Paxlovid’) remains strongly recommended since April 2022 in mild or moderate COVID-19 patients who are at high-risk of hospitalization.


  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women with non-severe COVID-19 should consult with their doctor to determine whether they should take the drug, due to ‘likely benefits’ and a lack of adverse events having been reported.


  • The use of other monoclonal antibody medicine like Sotrovimab and Casirivimab-Imdevimab in treating Covid-19 are strongly recommended against as they are believed to lack or have diminished activity against the current circulating virus variants.


  • Except for corticosteroids, access to monoclonal antibody medicines for treating Covid 19 patients remains unsatisfactory globally.


Source: World Health Organisation (WHO). January 13, 2022


Learn more: WHO: Clinical management of Covid-19: Living guidelines. Ver 6.0. Published Jan 12, 2023.



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