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We may start discharging Covid-19 patients who are yet to recover, says FG

The Nigerian federal government says it may consider discharging COVID-19 patients earlier than their required treatment and isolation period, even when they are still positive.

The director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, said this on Thursday, May 21, at the daily briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

According to the report, the NCDC chief said new evidence shows that it is safe to discharge recovering COVID-19 patients even when they still test positive.

“New evidence is emerging that even when the test is still positive after that patient has been in care for a certain amount of time, it is possible and safe to discharge that patient to home isolation.

“So we are looking at the evidence and we might change our guidelines over time,” Ihekweazu was quoted to have said.

The NCDC’s decision may not be unconnected with the reality that treatment centres across the country are getting overwhelmed.

The NCDC chief had earlier said Nigeria lacks adequate bed spaces to accommodate COVID-19 patients in isolation centres across states.

He said the federal government was considering the option of home-care treatment for COVID-19 patients.

As at Thursday, May 21, Nigeria has 7016 cases of COVID-19 out of which 1,907 have been discharged after recovery while 211 have died.