As of 19 March 2020, there are 150 reported cases of people who have tested positive for COVID-19. President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a national state of disaster in light of the pandemic. As the numbers increase, the possibility of coming into contact with an infected person becomes more likely.

What to do when you come into contact with an infected person

DO NOT PANIC.

The time from infection to showing symptoms is 2 to 14 days. If you develop any symptoms in this time frame, you will need to be tested.

Why not test immediately?

You cannot be tested immediately because it takes time for the virus to grow to a point that it can be detected through laboratory testing.

What about medication

COVID-19 is a virus, because of this fact treatment is supportive. This means symptoms are treated but there is no medicine to kill the virus, your body needs to combat the virus by itself.

What should you do?

It is important to self-quarantine. You may not have symptoms yet but you need to stay away from people to prevent the virus from spreading any further.

NOTE: You can pass on the virus without any symptoms

practice strict hygiene on a daily basis to help prevent the spread

Can you still go to work/school?

It is advised that you do not go to work or school. Social contact is discouraged in all forms including meeting with friends, going to malls or using public transport.

Follow this advice

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Keep at least 1 metre distance from healthy individuals.
  • Wear a medical mask.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing.
  • Try improve airflow in living areas by opening doors and windows.

How will you be monitored?

The government will make contact with you daily via e-mail to find out what symptoms, if any, you are experiencing. You need to co-operate and answer these questions daily. If you do not have email or access to the internet, someone will call you daily.

NOTE: This will monitoring will continue for 14 days.

Look out for the following symptoms

  • Body temperature of 38°C or more
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Body pains
  • Diarrhoea

NOTE: As soon as you develop symptoms contact the hotline

What will happen then?

Depending on which symptoms and the severity, healthcare workers will collect a swab from you and test for the virus.