NCDC to discharge COVID-19 Patients without testing negative

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) will no longer require a negative laboratory test to discharge a COVID-19 patient, as symptomatic patients will be discharged earlier than usual after they have stop showing symptoms of the disease – fever and respiratory symptoms).

It also announced that asymptomatic patients will now be discharged 14 days after their first positive test to the virus.

This new guideline was announced by the Director-General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, in Abuja on Thursday.

According to him, “There have been new science emerging about the duration of infectivity of individual patients. It led to the WHO issuing new clinical guidelines.

“We then convened colleagues across our organisation, the department of hospital services of the Federal Ministry of Health, as well as other colleagues with whom we work, to review our guidelines and issue new guidelines for the country and of course adapting it to local circumstances.

“For symptomatic patients, they may now be discharged at least 10 days after symptoms onset and 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 test. So, we no longer have to wait for a negative test to discharge. This way you can go home with confidence that you are no longer infective and you’re not putting your family and friends or anyone else at risk.

He further added: “In addition, we have also removed the use of antivirals from our treatment guidelines. The trial for Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine will go on.

“We are asking that we limit the use of these medicines to those trial settings and not use them casually around the country. Let us reduce the use of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine and all the other antiviral previously on our guidelines to contexts where clinical trials are going on.

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