2021-01-30 03:36:56 UTC
An increasing number of COVID-19 patients have been told to recover at home as many parts of the nation see a shortage of hospital beds. However, medical experts have highlighted the dangers of home isolation and the difficulty of stopping others in the infected person’s household from being exposed even when preventive steps are taken.
A 49-year-old woman in Sapporo, Hokkaido, recently spoke of how the virus had quickly spread among three generations of her family living in one apartment despite the basic anti-virus steps they took, such as remaining isolated in separate rooms, wearing masks and disinfecting surfaces.
On Nov. 27, the woman’s 21-year-old daughter tested positive for the virus. Since she had an underlying mental illness and was only suffering a mild fever and cough, the family decided to let her recuperate at home following consultation with the local public health center.
The infected woman’s mother and her 80-year-old grandmother were also asked to remain at home because of the chance they may have also contracted the virus.
The daughter was isolated in one room, everyone ate from different plates, and doorknobs and other things at home were regularly disinfected. But there was no other option but to share a bathroom and toilet.
On Dec. 2, the 80-year-old was found to be infected with the virus. While she did not develop severe symptoms, she was hospitalized due to her old age.
Then the 49-year-old went to a doctor after developing a cough and runny nose. She was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Dec. 7.
She remained at home, struggling with fatigue and bedridden for nearly 10 days.
“I couldn’t eat and there were times when I thought I would die,” the woman said. She still suffers from a loss of taste, one of the common symptoms of COVID-19.
In Sapporo, about 30% of people who tested positive between Jan. 4 and 17, and whose transmission routes were determined, were infected by family members.
In Tokyo, the rate was about 50% for almost the same period.