HEALTH AND LIFESTYLE

COVID-19 Patients Can Now be Discharged Without Testing Negative

Dr. Chikwe Iheakwazu, has said COVID-19 patients no longer require a negative laboratory test result before they can be discharged.

The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, made this known at the daily Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Thursday.

According to Ihekweazu, the new discharge criteria for COVID-19 Infection indicates that patients can be free 14 days after the first positive result.

“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 Iheakwazu, 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.”

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