Workers wearing protective suits spray disinfectant as a precaution against the coronavirus at a market in Bupyeong, South Korea. Lee Jong-chul/Newsis via AP
Workers wearing protective suits spray disinfectant as a precaution against the coronavirus at a market in Bupyeong, South Korea. Lee Jong-chul/Newsis via AP

Coronavirus: SA not taking chances

By CHELSEA NTULI Time of article published Feb 25, 2020

Share this article:

Pretoria - Following the confirmation of the continent’s first coronavirus case in Egypt at the weekend, South Africa is making sure members of the health and medical fraternity are well prepared.

In this regard, the SA Medical Association, SA Public Health Medicine Association, Foundation of Professional Development and other partners gave an update on the management of the virus.

Head of the infectious diseases department at the University of Pretoria, Professor Anton Stoltz, said managerial and administrative controls were the starting point of infection control. He was speaking at a conference focusing on the virus at the CSIR yesterday.

Stoltz advised health practitioners to consider carefully the type of personal protective equipment used.

Studies showed the virus could remain infectious on inanimate surfaces at room temperature for up to nine days, he said. However, at a room temperature of 30°C, the duration of persistence was shorter.

“It is important that when you are treating people with infectious diseases you must make sure you don’t infect yourself. In cases where you are not vaccinated against a novel virus everybody can be a susceptible host."

Dr Kerrigan McCarthy, of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, said the entity has developed a hotline - 0666524021 and 080029999 - to support people who suspected they have contracted the virus or anyone else.

“As a country you would want to detect, identify and contain cases so that they don’t spread,” she said.

McCarthy said that they were not able to test everybody due to limited resources. To date they had received more than 150 calls via the hotline requesting advice for testing, but the numbers had been decreasing.

Pretoria News

Share this article: