Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has admitted that the protocol of self-isolation of returning travellers into the country failed to help check the spread of the coronavirus.
Ehanire made the confession while fielding questions at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing on Thursday.
He said the protocol has now been reviewed and quarantine adopted in its place.
The minister said, “The policy we have now is that anybody arriving Nigeria from anywhere whether by air, land or by sea will go into quarantine for 14 days. During those 14 days, they will be observed for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 disease. They will be tested at the beginning and at the end.
“We don’t have a provision for isolation at home. At the very beginning, we had that provision that if you came in and did not have a symptom, you isolate at home. Since then, all the cases we are dealing with now came in and multiplied. In order to reduce the incidence of cases coming in and then forming clusters of new infections, the provision has now changed to what we call isolation-one or quarantine.
“Quarantine is for those who have not been confirmed or who are under isolation. If during the period, signs and symptoms show up, they will be tested. If they are positive, they will go to treatment centres. If, after 14 days, they show no symptoms or signs and they are tested and are negative, they are free to go. That is the protocol we have now.”