COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the recently discovered coronavirus. This new disease was unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
Read on to stay up to date with everything you need to know about preventing the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
Contact The Official South African National Department of Health COVID-19 Support Service via WhatsApp on 060 012 3456 to receive current statistics and information in real-time.
The Novel Coronavirus spreads between people in any one of the following ways:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, which land in the mouths or noses of surrounding people and are inhaled into their lungs.
- People are considered to be most contagious when they are the sickest or when the symptoms are most advanced.
- Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects; It may be possible that a person can contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
- People with vulnerable immune systems are at a higher risk of contracting the virus.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, includes:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are displaying flu-like symptoms.
- Self-isolate when you are sick; avoid participating in small gatherings or public events.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and proceed to throw away the tissue.
If you suspect that you may have come into contact with the Coronavirus, the following information is important to note:
- Please do not rush to your nearest hospital, you need to remain calm and stay indoors and isolated.
- A health care worker will visit you in your home to collect a specimen and to complete the required documentation.
- If a healthcare worker is not available, you can enquire whether a self-testing kit is available from your nearest laboratory or contact your local GP telephonically for medical
- Avoid unnecessary social contact.
- Avoid travel.
- Remain reachable for monitoring.
If you are in the situation where you feel you may have been exposed to the virus (according to the criteria as set out by the Department of Health), please respond by letting us know which province you are in and we will send you the relevant contact details or you can contact the Department of Health Coronavirus Outbreak Hotline on 0800 029 999 or via WhatsApp on 060 012 3456.
Should you require hospitalisation, please contact us immediately on 0861 11 77 74 to be directed to the closest isolation facility.