MBABANE: Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients and those with mild symptoms will no longer be admitted to the country\'s COVID-19 isolation facilities as those facilities are now reserved only for those with moderate to severe and critical illness.
This has been revealed by Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi during a press briefing held at the Cabinet offices in Mbabane on Saturday. The Minister announced revised guidelines that will guide government\'s response to COVID-19.She said this was necessitated by the increasing number of cases, deaths and the large number of contacts that need to be traced, the new strategies will ensure the better use of resources while ensuring access to quality care for those who need it the most and reducing the risk of death.
“Admission will be prioritised for those with moderate to severe and critical illness and those with mild disease with co-morbidities. Home care follow up will be prioritised for patients with mild symptoms and the vulnerable. Asymptomatic cases will be self-monitored at home and will be discharged 10 days after testing positive. They should call 977 when they start showing symptoms,\" she said.
The Minister clarified that according to the World Health Organisation\'s (WHO) new guidelines it was safe to discharge COVID-19 patients 10 days after testing positive since the rate of transmission is reduced by then .
\"All patients will be discharged after 10 days of treatment and they will be a follow up treatment of up to 3 days for those who will be discharged with mild symptoms,\" said the Minister.
Nkosi further mentioned that testing will be reserved for COVID-19 suspects who are showing symptoms and those who have been in direct contact with a confirmed positive case.
Bheki Mamba the President for the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union said the health system is no longer coping with the current situation.
“As we speak, there are no drugs in hospitals, no testing kits, no isolation centres and there is a shortage of staff and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). These new guidelines are not helping, the WHO guidelines call for the establishment of quarantine areas, and it will be difficult to follow people at home since there is already a shortage of staff. People cannot religiously take medication and follow health precautions when they are away from health practitioners, they are likely to spread the virus to other people if they are not monitored. We should be focusing on flattening the curve, so far nothing has been done towards flattening the curve. By these new guidelines, government is declaring that it is failing to cope with the situation,\" he said.
Health Minister Lizzie Nkosit