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FG unveils guidelines to ensure standards at isolation, treatment centres

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The Federal Government yesterday unveiled a guideline to ensure that standards are maintained at all COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres across the country.

It appealed to Nigerians who test positive to comply with the requirement to be admitted at the isolation centres even as it cautioned against stimatisation of patients or areas where the patients reside.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who stated this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 media briefing in Abuja, noted that isolation was the best option for recovery and detection of possible complications on time.

He explained that with the present trend towards community transmission, the health sector strategies would be redrawn to address specific challenges and they would emphasise increased screening, testing and immediate isolation of confirmed cases.

His words, “Health workers in public and private health facilities should maintain a high index of suspicion and to safely refer patients with fever and respiratory tract symptoms for COVID-19 testing.

“Safely means to offer mask or protective barrier and if possible, invite to a holding room and call 112 or 080097000010. The advent of community transmission marks the evolution.

“There is also an increased drive to detect cases more rapidly, especially in hotspot communities. All persons who fit into the case definition are advised to first wear a mask of any type, isolate themselves from friends and family and call the national emergency number 112.

They should also call the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) toll free number 0800 9700 0010 or report to the nearest health facility for referral. The policy is to detect early, test and isolate cases as early as possible.”

He said there were now 12 functional COVID-19 testing laboratories, with capacity to test up to 1,500 samples daily adding that to ensure maximum utilisation of increased testing capacity, the case definition and testing criteria have been expanded to include not only contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases with fever and respiratory tract symptoms, but also all persons with fever and respiratory tract symptoms of unknown cause.

Ehanire, who commenced professional health associations that have pledged support in filling health human resource gaps, said, “We have met with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) and Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), to identify willing and able medical and critical care specialists for deployment as and when needed.”

On his part, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, noted that government would continue to pursue detection, testing, isolation, care and management of cases as its strategy and appealed to Nigerians to continue to obey the stay-at-home order and maintain all personal hygiene protocols.


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