Mbabane: Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi has announced revised guidelines that will guide Government’s response to COVID19 in the areas of testing, clinical care, discharge of confirmed cases & management of contacts.
Nkosi said this new guidelines has been informed by new evidence from the World Health Organization & local context.
Minister Nkosi said this was done in consideration of the increasing number of cases & deaths & the large number of contacts that need to be traced. “we have revised strategies for better use of resources while ensuring access to quality care for those who need it the most & reducing the risk of death.”
Here are the guidelines:
- Testing will be prioritized for all who meet the case definition for #COVID19 & suspects who are showing symptoms. Testing will not be required to discharge confirmed patients. Asymptomatic contacts will not be tested immediately but will self-isolate for 10 days.
- Admission will be prioritized for those with moderate to severe & critical illness & those with mild disease with co-morbidities. Home care follow-up will be prioritized for patients with mild symptoms and the vulnerable.
- Asymptomatic cases will self monitor at home & call 977 at onset of new symptoms. Decentralization of treatment centres to regional hospitals & the use of private hospitals has started. Asymptomatic patients will be discharged 10 days after testing positive.
- Symptomatic patients will be discharged 10 days after symptoms onset & at least 3 days without symptoms of fever or resolving respiratory symptoms without supportive treatment & when other clinical conditions have been managed.
- High risk definition: face-to-face contact with a confirmed case within 1 meter & for more than 15 minutes; direct physical contact with confirmed case; direct care for a confirmed patient without using proper PPE & in transport sitting within two seats of a case.
- Low-risk: face to face contact with case more than 1 meter apart & for less than 15 minutes; in a closed environment with case for less than 15 minutes with social distancing & masks & direct care for a patient with proper PPE.
The new guidelines comes after the country has seen accelerating numbers in confirmed cases and COVID-19 related deaths. As of July 24 the total number of confirmed cases stood at 2073 while the number of deaths stands 28.
On another note, the number of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 stands at 929.