Please do not panic, but please be careful! If all of us take the necessary precautions, whether you are at risk or not, we can #FlattenTheCurve together.
Did you watch President Ramaphosa’s speech regarding the Corona-virus on Sunday evening? Click HERE to watch his speech again. The COVID-19 virus was declared a National State of Emergency in South Africa.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Schools close on 18 March until after Easter weekend.
- Gatherings of 100 people or more are prohibited.
- A travel ban from high-risk countries is imposed from 18 March.
- South Africans need to refrain from travelling to or through high-risk countries.
- South African citizens returning from high-risk countries will be tested and need to practice self-isolation.
- Foreign nationals who arrived in South Africa from high-risk countries from mid-February, need to get tested.
- Visits to correctional facilities are cancelled for 30 days.
- All businesses and shopping centres must ensure that all measures are taken to intensify hygiene control.
What you can do:
- Wash your hands frequently and correctly. If you do not have soap and water readily available you can use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Click HERE to watch a video explaining exactly how to wash your hands to get rid of as many germs as possible.
- Avoid crowded places, social gatherings and unnecessary outings. Maintaining at least 1 metre between you and everyone else if you absolutely have to go out.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Your hands pick up all kinds of germs throughout the day, so it is important to be mindful of not bringing these germs close to your face.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue and dispose thereof safely. The Corona-virus is spread through droplets, so limiting the spread of these can slow the infection rate of the virus considerably.
- If you start showing symptoms or feel ill at all, please seek medical care immediately and isolate yourself from any human contact. Phone the hotline (0800 029 999) or your doctor immediately.
- Do not share crockery/cutlery/towels/bedding or other items in the home.
- Clean frequently touched objects/surfaces such as keys, handles, cards and your phone with disinfectant spray or wipes regularly.
- Surgical masks have not been proven to definitively protect against every contagion. However, masks prevent a person from unconsciously touching their eyes, nose and mouth, so they may offer a measure of protection.
- Surgical masks are for single use only, not to be worn two days in a row.
- It is important to stay informed and not to panic. Please listen to any advice from the health department and your healthcare provider.
Symptoms to look out for:
The most common signs of infection according to the Department of Health include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
If you experience those or any other flu-like symptoms we recommend contacting the hotline on 0800 029 999 or contacting your nearest clinic, hospital, or general practitioner. It is advised that you do not physically visit your clinic, hospital, or general practitioner before informing them of your condition, rather make contact with them and take the necessary precautions to keep those around you safe.
Check your facts
Have you heard any news about the virus you’re unsure about or are just plain old wives tales? Always double check your facts with reputable organisations such as WHO or NICD. Click here to look at some WHO Myth Busters.
Teach the children
In his speech on Sunday, President Rhamaphosa advised that schools will be closed from 18 March until after the Easter holidays. It’s the perfect opportunity to teach your children about the virus and the importance of hygiene in times like these.
Have you seen that viral video of a preschool teacher showing her students why it is important to wash your hands? Watch the video on her Instagram page and try it with your own young ones.
PBS.org also put together a list of tips on how to talk to your children about the virus. Give it a read by clicking HERE.
What we’re doing:
The health and safety of our members, partners and employees are top priority so we’ve taken the following steps to help slow the spread of the virus and keep our people safe:
- We’ve provided disinfectant and paper towels at our most frequently used areas, such as the printer station, bathrooms and kitchen. These areas will be disinfected on a regular basis.
- A response plan has been developed and made available to all our staff.
- We’ve developed an awareness, education and information campaign and regular
- communication and updates will be distributed to empower our employees.
- No International or domestic business travel by air will be allowed.
- If an employee feels ill at all, they need to take the necessary steps to isolate themselves and seek medical help.
We continually monitor the situation and make informed decisions to keep our employees updated on further developments regarding service delivery and other work-related activities.
We want to assure you that we’re committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of our members, partners and employees.
- Call the NICD Hotline if you have any symptoms: 0800 029 999
- The National Government set up a WhatsApp support line on 0600 123456
- Please visit The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and World Health Organisation (WHO) websites for more information on the COVID-19 virus.
- IOL compiled a list of places where you can get tested in SA. Click HERE to find out more.
It is of utmost importance that we stay calm during the coming weeks. But it is equally important to be careful, vigilant and respectful as well! If we do not take action now our healthcare system will not be able to cope with the influx of cases and that would mean the whole situation will snowball out of control. If all of us take the necessary precautions, whether you are at risk or not, we can #FlattenTheCurve together.