We have reduced the number of tests conducted on persons infected with Coronavirus before they are discharged – NCDC DG, Chikwe Ihekweazu

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The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu has disclosed that they have reviewed the policy on the discharge of Coronavirus patients in the country.

Chikwe who appeared on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ on Thursday May 21, said the number of tests conducted on persons infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) before they are certified to have recovered from the disease, was reduced in the new policy.

He said;

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

“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.”

Reacting to allegations against the NCDC on refusing to release some patients from its isolation facility after they recovered from the disease, the NCDC DG stated that the agency does not manage any patient but support clinicians in various states with guidelines.

Chikwe also denied issuing a directive of non-admittance of Coronavirus patients in isolation centers if they do not show symptoms of the disease.

Commenting on how long infected patients stay at isolation centres, the NCDC DG 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).

“There are also extremes that have stayed over 30 days; I think the longest that has been discharged in our record right now is about 38 days.

“We have patients that have stayed longer than that and that number will change once they are discharged. The average duration of hospitalisation is 11 days to be precise.”