CORONAVIRUS

Don't go to hospital if you think you have virus — experts

Specific ambulances to carry suspected patients will be provided

In Summary

• If you have the virus and go to hosital, you can infect staff and health workers. u 

Oluga says self-quarantine will also protect health workers and hospital support staff, who have the first contact with patients.

• 

Union leader Ftancis Atwoli and Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe at launch of KMPDU’s new strategic plan on Friday March 13. .
VIRUS: Union leader Ftancis Atwoli and Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe at launch of KMPDU’s new strategic plan on Friday March 13. .
Image: COURTESY:

You must not go to the hospital if you suspect you have contracted coronavirus, doctors advise. Don't infect staff.

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 the 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 that can handle such patients.

The best place to handle coronavirus cases is at home because most are mild fever that goes away in a short time. Only serious cases should end up in hospital.
Dr Ouma Oluga of KMPDU 

Oluga also called for more equipment for health workers. Recently the health ministry procured 5,000 sets of personal protective equipment but these are not enough, he said.

He asked hospitals to sensitise non-medical support staff on how to protect themselves to stop the virus 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 the hospital.”

Oluga spoke in Nairobi after the launch of KMPDU’s new strategic plan.

The ministry of health 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 V. Graham)