Bed Space Crisis: NCDC Reviews Policy On Discharge Of COVID-19 Patients

By FN Editor on 22/05/2020

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Following challenges of bed space capacity, the Federal Government has reviewed the policy guidelines on the discharge of persons infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) after they have tested nega­tive twice consecutively to only once before they are certified of recovery from the disease.

Disclosing this on Thurs­day, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of the Nige­ria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said that the number of tests conducted on persons infected with COVID-19 be­fore certification of recovery from the infection has been reduced to one test.


Ihekweazu, who revealed this during a broadcast, explained that recovered COVID-19 patients were now discharged from the isolation centres after their first nega­tive test.

“So, the discharge criteri­on at the moment is a single negative test in Nigeria,” the NCDC boss revealed.

He said: “We used to do two negative tests, 48 hours apart, but because of challenges of bed space capacity, we re­duced that to a single nega­tive test, then discharge the patient to another one week of home isolation – that’s the policy at the moment.”

Ihekweazu also debunked report that the NCDC had re­fused to release some patients from its isolation facility after they recovered from the dis­ease.

The NCDC boss also re­futed the allegations that he directed that COVID-19 pa­tients should not be taken to isolation centres if they do not show symptoms of the disease.

According to Ihekweazu, the agency does not manage any patient, but supports cli­nicians in various states with guidelines.

He stressed that deci­sions on the management of COVID-19 cases were left for the state authorities to take.

On how long infected pa­tients stay at isolation cen­tres, he said: “The average duration of hospitalisation that we have found has been 10 to 11 days, although some have said that they have been discharged on the fourth day (a few people).”




Posted on May, 22 2020

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