The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, on Tuesday advocated for sustainability in the use of Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs, across health care settings as 226 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded on Tuesday.
Releasing an update on its Twitter handle, the NCDC said the total number of infections in Nigeria is now 6401.
According to the agency, one new patient has been confirmed dead to the virus in the country, bringing the total number of deaths to 192, explaining that most of the fatalities recorded were cases with other underlying illnesses known as co-morbidities.
It advised Nigerians to trust the health authorities and take responsibility to control the spread of the outbreak.
The 226 new cases were reported from 16 states- Lagos (131), Ogun (25), Plateau (15), Edo (11), Kaduna (7), Oyo (6), FCT (5), Adamawa (5), Jigawa (4), Ebonyi (4), Borno (4), Nasarawa (3), Bauchi (2), Gombe (2), Enugu (1), Bayelsa (1)
The NCDC noted that no new state has reported a case in the last 24 hours.
The health agency said that to date, 6401 cases have been confirmed, 4475 Active Cases, 1734 cases have been discharged and 192 deaths have been recorded in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
NAN reports that the health agency advocates for sustainability in use of Personal Protective Equipments, PPEs, across health care settings in the country post-COVID-19.
The NCDC gave a summary of the key infection prevention and control (IPC) strategies to limit or prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in healthcare settings as follows:
“Health works should ensure early triage, recognition, and source control at the entry point of the facility: Ensure the availability of a triage station at the entrance of the facility with trained personnel.
“Request information on recent travel history and pre-existing disease profile of the patient to determine the patient’s risk level: Evaluate clinical symptoms of COVID-19 to ensure early recognition and
Ensure source control (isolation) of patients with suspected SARS COV-2 (COVID-19) infections in a designated area with a defined approach for further assessments,” it stated.
The health agency said that at the application of standard precautions for all patients at the entry point of the facility, none of the IPC protocols should be bypassed under any circumstances to reduce the likelihood of viral transmission to healthcare workers and other patients within the healthcare setting.
The NCDC noted that these protocols include the following, hand and respiratory hygiene for healthcare workers and patients, visibility of IEC materials that communicate the symptoms of COVID-19 and prevention measures, clearly stating that some cases may be asymptomatic.
It also advised the appropriate use of PPE, safe waste disposal practices, sterilisation of medical equipment, and surfaces.
“Confirmed cases of COVID-19 should be housed together with enough ventilation. The physical distancing between all patients should be adhered to in all facilities with at least 1-meter distance.
“Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) should be utilised based on a risk assessment. Proper disposal and waste management of all PPE, equipment, and consumables used on patients.
“Where equipment must be re-used, such equipment should be properly disinfected. Otherwise, single-use/disposable equipment should be utilised.
“Maintain visitors log to record details of all visitors into COVID-19 wards (including health care workers) to support with contact-tracing when necessary.
“Disinfect all surfaces that patients come in contact with airborne precautions (in a certain situation when aerosol-generating procedures are carried out on COVID-19 patients.
“Appropriate PPE such as eye protection such as a facemask, long sleeve/water-proof gowns should be utilised,” it explained.
The agency said that all procedures should be performed in rooms with sufficient ventilation for aerosol-generating procedures, by limiting the number of people present.
The NCDC said that in implementing administrative controls, healthcare settings require infrastructure to address COVID-19 cases such as adequate PPE, sensitisation materials for patients and health care workers, adequate health care worker training, designated waiting for areas for asymptomatic patients, isolation facilities for confirmed cases amongst others.
The health agency said that the use of environmental and engineering controls such as adequate spatial separation of patients, appropriate ventilation and appropriate cleaning of the environment.
It said that for ventilation, a natural ventilation may be utilised. For artificial ventilation, it was appropriate to use a filters for air conditioning and in a spatial separation, at least one meter of physical distancing should be observed between patients.
“Cleaning: Thorough cleaning and disinfection of surfaces as well as laundry protocols and frequent monitoring of the adherence to necessary standards for the above.
“The choice and combination of PPE ensemble to be worn in dealing with COVID-19 patients should be based on a careful risk assessment that considers the risk of exposure and extent of contact anticipated with respiratory droplets, blood, body fluids, and/ or open skin.
“Where possible, it may also be advisable to bundle similar services to reduce inefficient use of PPE however the quest to minimise inefficient use of PPE should not come at the expense of standard protocols and precaution,” it stated.