CORONAVIRUS/Selected hospitalized patients eligible for two caregivers

Certain hospitalized patients such as children and seniors are now eligible to have up to two caregivers, an easing of previous restrictions that allowed each patient to have only one caregiver, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced Monday.

According to the CECC, healthcare facilities received notification of the updates to current policy on Dec. 24.

In line with COVID-19 policy measures introduced as a result of the pandemic, patients residing at hospitals will continue to be allowed only one person to accompany them, with some exceptions.

For patients aged 12 and younger as well as those aged 65 and older, they can have up to two people accompanying them.

Another exception includes individuals with mental or physical disabilities and patients who are medically certified to need extra care.

Patient accompaniment is common throughout medical facilities in Taiwan where the standard practice is for families to either hire a professional caregiver, or have family members assist when looking after a hospitalized relative.

While professional caregivers have often received related training, family members are more likely to be given basic instruction by nurses to help them take better care of their loved ones.

In addition, caregivers, who were previously required to conduct a COVID-19 test upon admission and undergo a weekly test after that, will no longer be required to do so as long as their second vaccination shot was administered a minimum of 14 days previously.

Those who have recovered from the disease and are still no more than three months from the date they were initially infected, are also exempted from the tests as such individuals should have a high enough antigen count.

Caregivers who are not fully vaccinated are currently still entitled to free rapid tests, PCR tests or both on a weekly basis until Jan. 1 2022. As of that date, one caregiver per patient will be entitled to a free test upon admission, with subsequently weekly tests at their own expense.

Starting Feb. 1, anyone who is not fully vaccinated will have to pay for their own tests upon admission with a patient, as well as for all follow-up tests.

In order to stay with patients, those who accompany them must show no signs of the disease to ensure the safety of other patients, the CECC added.

The CECC also implored those who accompany or care for patients to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible, as healthcare facilities are high-risk locations for virus transmission.

Visitation remains limited, with restricted numbers and strict visiting times still in place, along with other COVID-19 related regulations.

Audio or video calls are considered a safer option that better guarantee the health of patients and family members, the CECC said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel