Japan Airlines' notice is placed at Gimpo Airport in Seoul, South Korea. Picture: AP
Japan Airlines' notice is placed at Gimpo Airport in Seoul, South Korea. Picture: AP

Travelling anytime soon? Here’s your coronavirus safety guide

By Staff reporter Time of article published Mar 6, 2020

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Panic set in for South Africans when news broke about the first coronavirus case in the country on Thursday afternoon. 

Officials confirmed that the first South African who tested positive for the coronavirus was a resident from the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. 

The 38-year-old man returned from a trip to Italy and is currently in self-quarantine. Ethekwini Municipality released a graphic highlighting the coronavirus, its symptoms, the prevention and the treatment. 

In a message posted on a local Facebook group and purported to be from the man's wife, it states, "We have been home in quarantine since Tuesday. The kids and I don't have symptoms but will be tested. We are trying to deal with all of this, obviously it is a big shock as we didn't for one minute thing he had the virus." 

News of the first local coronavirus case comes as the country readies to receive more than 100 citizens who are returning from China.

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJoints) facilitating the repatriation of South African citizens from the Chinese city of Wuhan - the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak - said on Thursday it had secured an aircraft for the evacuation. 

Here are a few tips you should know:

How it is spread?

  • Through contaminated people coughing and sneezing.
  • By touching the infected person’s hand or face. 
  • By touching things such as door handles that infected people have touched. 
  • Saliva droplets getting into eyes. 

The symptoms 

  • Coughing 
  • Fever 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Fatigue 


  • Wash your hands frequently 
  • Practice respiratory hygiene 
  • Maintain social distancing 
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth 
  • Seek medical help when facing fever, coughing and shortness of breath. 


  • Drink plenty of fluids. 
  • Symptoms may be treated like cold symptoms. 
  • Unfortunately, there are no antiviral drugs or vaccines. 

Source: Ethekwini Municipality.


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