Part 5: Dr Matjekane on the importance of coronavirus patients staying home

By Lifestyle reporter Time of article published Apr 3, 2020

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In the fourth part of our online video series with Dr Mathobela Matjekane, she explains why it is so important for patients who display coronavirus symptoms to stay home.

"We have had quite a number of patients who have walked into the practice with concerns. Obviously being at work, most people are told to go home and get quarantined so that they don't spread the infection since most of them don't even know what they have. There is an increase in terms of panic among most of the patients," says Dr Matjekane.

It's for this reason also that she mentions when patients do display symptoms, her practice has to make sure that every safety precaution is taken between staff and patients. "One of the best things that we have tried to implement is firstly to educate the patient about importance of staying at not passing the infection to other people," she adds.

Matjekane also reiterated the importance of continuously washing hands with water and soap - which is just as effective as hand sanitizer. Despite the scientific appeal of hand sanitisers, plain old soap is better at eliminating Covid-19 from your hands, and it does not need to be antibacterial either.

Palli Thordarson, a chemistry professor at the University of New South Wales, explained why normal soap is so effective at destroying Covid-19.

Thordarson likes to call Covid-19 “nano-sized grease balls” due to how the virus is constructed. The centre consists of genetic information that is encoded by ribonucleic acid (RNA) and it’s surrounded by a layer of fat and protein. 

Thordarson said that chemists call soap “amphiphiles”, the molecules of soap have two significantly different parts to it. One side of the molecule is attracted to water and the other side is attracted to fats and proteins. 

Visit Clinimed's website for further info on Dr Mathobela Matjekane

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