The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has unveiled new guidelines for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the country.
Speaking on the new guidelines, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, revealed that a negative laboratory test result is no longer needed for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients to be discharged.
Mr Ihekweazu said the new discharge criteria for COVID-19 Infection indicates that patients can be free 14 days after the first positive result if they don’t show symptoms.
“There have been new science emerging about the duration of infectivity of individual patients. It led to the WHO issuing new clinical guidelines. “Symptomatic patients would thereby be discharged 10 days after symptom onset, plus at least 3 days without symptoms. If your symptoms last for longer, we will wait for longer managing you supportively.
“If you are asymptomatic, you can be discharged 14 days after your first positive result. A negative laboratory test is no longer required to discharge a COVID-19 patient,” he said.
According to the NCDC DG, the new guideline is based on new data from Singapore “that RNA detected beyond 10 days is no longer infectious as no viable virus is grown by viral culture.”
At the initial stage of the virus in Nigeria, the major requirement for discharging patients were testing negative to COVID-19 twice.
The NCDC boss also revealed that the agency had switched to testing COVID-19 patients only once as against its earlier stance on double testing before discharge. This, he said is to enable the decongestion of some isolation centres in the country.
“At that point, you really don’t need more clinical interventions, even at home; you just need time to recover.“It is just like you recover from any other illness. You don’t need any special intervention once you have been discharged,” he said.