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Coronavirus: Avoid hospitals if you develop symptoms

You risk infecting more people who have even more compromised immunity.

In Summary

• Instead, you should self-isolate at home and call 0800721316, the toll free hotline provided by the Health ministry.

•Health workers with proper protection will then call and from preliminary assessment determine if you need isolation at a health facility.

Ouma Oluga, secretary general of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union.
Ouma Oluga, secretary general of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union.

Do not go to hospital if you suspect you have coronavirus, doctors advise. 

Instead, you should self-isolate at home and call 0800721316, the toll free hotline provided by the Ministry of Health.

Health workers with proper protection will then call and from preliminary assessment determine if you need isolation in a health facility.

 

“If you’re sick and you go to hospital, you risk infecting more people who have even more compromised immunity,” said Dr Ouma Oluga, secretary general of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union.

Oluga said self-quarantine will also protect health workers and hospital support staff, who have the first contact with patients. He asked the government to provide specific ambulances for coronavirus patients.

Oluga also called for more personal protection equipment for health workers. “Recently the ministry (of health) procured 5,000 PPEs, but these are not even enough,” he said.

He asked hospitals to sensitise non-medical support staff on how to protect themselves to stop the virus from spreading in health facilities.

“The best place to handle coronavirus cases is at home because most are mild fever that goes away after a short time,” he said. “Only serious cases should end up in hospital.”

Dr Oluga spoke in Nairobi after the launch of KMPDU’s new strategic plan. The Health ministry has already trained more than 6,000 nurses on how to handle suspected coronavirus cases.

Oluga said community health workers should not attempt to treat suspected cases. “Let it start with nurses, then clinical officers then doctors,” he said.

Public health specialist Dr Cosmas Mugambi said in most patients symptoms clear up within a week. “There is no treatment for coronavirus, but medical care can manage most of the symptoms,” he said.

Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya