Coronavirus: What to do if you want to self-isolate in Nigeria

As Nigeria responds to an outbreak of coronavirus, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) offers this guidance for self-isolation.

The issued new guidelines is for home care and isolation of patients with emerging coronavirus with confirmed and suspected cases.

“If a person is suspected to have breached the guidelines, NCDC and the state surveillance teams will work closely with the individuals to ensure that they understand their obligations. They will also be helped to appreciate the importance and seriousness of self-isolation under the current global coronavirus pandemic threat,” the NCDC states.

In consultation with the guideline, there are points to consider towards self- isolation which includes those who should be isolated, which are all returning travellers to Nigeria and anyone who has been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus.

The guideline also states how people will move from arrival point in Nigeria to place of self- Isolation and how to be monitored during the period.

Its further states what should be done for effective self-isolation and what happens when one does not comply with the instruction of isolating.

The guideline proposed how people can keep their spirit up while in self-isolation and develop symptoms to look out for during the period of completing the 14 days of isolation.

Explaining what Self-isolation means, it’s strictly staying at home or identified accommodation, away from situations where you mix with family members or the general public, for the period of 14 days. This means any situation where you may come in close contact with others (face to face contact closer than 2 metres i.e. 5 feet).

However, the guideline stated that If one has not been in contact with someone who have been infected with coronavirus, the risk of getting coronavirus is very low.

“This is a stressful period, but taking these measures will help protect you, your family, and all of Nigeria from coronavirus,” it states.

In consultation on how to move from arrival point in the country to the place of self-isolation, the guideline advised that people should ensure that they are only picked up by only one person and should avoid use of public transport by plane, bus, train or car.

It further advised that people should not sit in the co-driver’s seat maintaining at least 1 metre between yourself and the driver; and ensuring adequate ventilation throughout the trip.

“Avoid contact with the driver and you should not travel across states in Nigeria during the self-isolation period either by plane, train, bus or car,” it states.

Besides recommendations to limit the size of gatherings and shut down public places in states where community spread of the virus is evident, other considerations from the guideline includes the following:

How one can be monitored during self- isolations which simply explains that travellers and contacts of confirmed cases are required to provide their name, next of kin, physical address and telephone contact to the relevant health authorities.

“These details will guide our surveillance teams in monitoring you while under self-isolation for 14 days,” it states.

On living with others, the guideline requires the contact person as much as possible to please stay in one room.

“You should limit your contact with people and avoid having visitors to your home, but it is okay for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food without having physical contact with you.”

Likewise, if you are in a home where the other residents have not travelled (e.g. your home / flat, student accommodation), minimise close contact with the other residents by avoiding situations where you may have face-to-face contact closer than 2 metres (5 feet).

The other household residents and or flat mates do not need to self-isolate provided these precautions are followed.

The guideline urges the patient and other household members to have access to appropriate, recommended personal use, and not to share plates, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, pillows or other items with other people in the home.

“After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water or place them in the dishwasher for cleaning.”