The ministry of Health has revised its discharge protocols for patients recovering from COVID-19.
While people who were previously isolated for treatment would remain in hospital, some for longer than three weeks awaiting a negative test, the Health minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has revealed the patients no longer require a person to first test negative for the virus before being discharged.
She said now one can be discharged as long as they are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms of the disease. She said doctors will now have to base someone’s readiness for discharge on the time they spent on treatment and improvement of symptoms, for instance, if someone has been in isolation for ten days and they haven’t shown symptoms of a fever in the last 24 hours.
When it comes to those that present with a serious disease requiring treatment with oxygen or intensive care unit services, the minister says samples for PCR test will be taken when the patient is declared clinically stable, have spent at least 24 hours without a fever and have been in isolation for at least 10 days after onset of symptoms.
“If a PCR is positive at day 10, then health workers will do another test on the fifteenth day. If they test negative then they can go home, but if the test comes out positive again, then they can be discharged at day 20 without an additional test,” said Aceng.
This change comes with the increase in community transmission of infection whereby more than a hundred new cases are confirmed every day.
Results from tests done on Wednesday show that 158 people tested positive bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases in the country to 8,287. Of these, 4,430 have recovered and 75 have succumbed to the virus.