Dear SAMWUMED Member,
Further to our previous communication, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on the 15th of March 2020, announcing a range of measures to try and stem the COVID-19 pandemic. The South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the National Department of Health (NDoH) have published several documents and alerts on how the outbreak should be managed and these are available on their respective websites. Members are therefore encouraged to follow the daily alerts and updates.
Below we’ve answered some Frequently Asked Questions to address concerns received from our members.
We also have assurance that all outbreak prevention and infection control measures are being followed in hospitals and at ports of entry. Therefore, COVID-19 virus is still well contained in South Africa, but if you believe you are at risk, our advice is to:
- Self-isolate immediately, and
- Phone your doctor.
We again urge you to continue being vigilant in protecting yourself and others by doing the following:
- Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
- Practice respiratory hygiene, by covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze;
- If possible, postpone any unnecessary local or international travel, especially to affected countries;
- For members returning from affected countries, discuss your plans with your employer on possibilities of self-quarantine (e.g. working from home for 14 days after return) and if you develop symptoms of COVID-19, you need to get tested via your doctor. If the test is negative, you should return to work after 72 hours.
Although the risk to our members still appears to be low at this stage, we will continue to monitor the situation around COVID-19 and will share any pertinent information that may affect our members’ health.