In the current wave of the Coronavirus pandemic, many Nigerians finds it difficult to differentiate or make good use of words like Quarantine and Isolation. In other not to misuse or inter-change both, here is the actual meaning of Quarantine and Isolation in respect to COVID-19.
Quarantine is a measure or term used to keep someone who might have been exposed to a virus away from others. Remember I said “who might have been exposed”.When someone is in self-quarantine, he or she stays separated from others and movements restricted. A person who may have been in an area of a virus epidemic such as COVID-19 should not be allowed to move freely because the symptoms doesn’t show at once so limiting movement helps to curb further spread (if there is a positive case). For Coronavirus, 14-days quarantine period is needed to ascertain the next phase. So if you come in contact with any suspected case, what you should do is self quarantine and what you should say is “I am in self-quarantine not I’m isolating or being isolated” Remember when there was a COVID-19 scare in the Presidential Villa due to the Abba Kyari incident (Chief of Staff to resident Buhari), There was a quarantine period among the Vice President and other officials as reported – Even the President had to undergo COVID-19 testing to be sure he was not a carrier.
Isolation is used or initiated to separate sick people from healthy people. While in isolation, you don’t just limit your movement as that of quarantine, you stay in a particular room or place away from others using different bathrooms if possible. An example of isolation is a prisoner in solitary confinement. Just as the need to isolate, various states in Nigeria have done well to provide a comfortable isolation centres to enable curtail the spread of the virus. A good question should be, why do Nigeria Centre for Disease Control take people with suspected cases away from their homes and community? The answer to that is because, they are going for isolation not quarantine. So you can say “Chidi was taken for isolation by the NCDC, not Chidi is has been taken for quarantine by the NCDC”.