Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice

There is an increasing number of confirmed cases of coronavirus across Nigerian cities and this situation is likely to get worse over the coming weeks and months.

Guidance is now that everyone should be practising social distancing and wearing facemasks when in public spaces. The guidance around those with symptoms is that:

  • If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for seven days
  • If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, they should stay at home for seven days from when their symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period
  • Household members who remain well stay in self-isolation for 14 days due to the maximum incubation period, calculated from day one of the first symptomatic persons.

Basic hygiene procedures

The basic steps that members should take are:

  • Follow good hand hygiene procedures 
  • Follow good respiratory hygiene 
  • Follow good disinfection practice, especially in patients with cold or flu-like symptoms

When to advise a patient they should rebook their appointment

Patients with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should not be seen.

Eye clinics should only remain open to provide urgent and essential care.

It is also the view of the Federal Ministry of Health that it is acceptable to ask patients whether they have a cough, high temperature, or shortness of breath, even if it’s mild.

This can be done over the phone, and these questions can be added to practice materials such as recall letters, web pages, SMS, and online booking services. 

What to do if you think you have coronavirus

If you think you may have the disease, however mild, you should self isolate for seven days from when your symptoms start.

In line with government guidance, you should not attend work until seven days after your symptoms started, or 14 days if someone in your household has symptoms.

If there is a risk you may have already passed the disease to others, you may need to share the details of relevant patients and colleagues with authorities.

For the avoidance of doubt, this will not constitute a breach of confidentiality, or data protection regulations as there will be a clear public health risk. 

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