Zimbabwe: WHO Guidelines On Release of COVID-19 Patients

Government has adopted new World Health Organisation guidelines on release of Covid-19 patients from quarantine or isolation facilities.

According to the new guidelines, patients who test positive but do not have symptoms can be from isolation after 10 days.

Even if they tested positive while symptomatic, if their symptoms subside they can be released 10 days from the date they first noted symptoms.

An additional three days in such cases will be added to ensure is little margin of error.

This means asymptomatic Covid-19 patients can now return to their families after clearance by health officials.

The initial recommendation by WHO stated;

“The initial recommendation to confirm clearance of the virus, and thus allow discharge from isolation, required a patient to be clinically recovered and to have two negative RT-PCR results on the sequential samples taken at least 24 hours apart.”

The new approach is set to reduce the number of cases considered to be active.

“For symptomatic patients:10 days after symptoms onset, plus at least additional three days without symptoms (including without fever and without respiratory symptoms)

For asymptomatic cases: 10 days after positive test for SARS-Co-V-2,” the World Health Organisation advisory said.

Explaining the changes last week Chief Coordinator of the National Response to the Covid-19 pandemic said this will help solve the mystery of cases that remain active for long periods.

“If you are asymptomatic but you are positive which is a large percentage of people we are testing as returning residents. You can be discharged after ten days without retesting as long as symptoms don’t show,” said Dr Mahomva.

She said new evidence is showing that asymptomatic cases cannot spread Covid-19.

“This is fantastic because we have had patients who are not patients, they are just patients by virtue of being positive but they have been like that for a long time.

The elements of the virus, the Ribonucleic acid that remains in them is low, it is not viable to be transmitted to others,” said Dr Mahomva.

Those who will be showing symptoms will still be treated as active cases and will not be allowed to leave isolation.

Dr Mahomva however warned that those who are released from isolation and their families continue to exercise caution.


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