The Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) has noted the increasing number of Coronavirus cases in South Africa as reported daily by government through the National Department of Health (NDoH).“The Scheme confirms its commitment to assisting our members to cope during the national lockdown period. The number of new infections reported daily has increased phenomenally with confirmed infections tipping the 1 000 mark as reported by the NDoH. Another significant development is that the first two cases of death resulting from COVID 19 were reported today, 27 March 2020. We continue to urge all our members who might have come into contact with persons who are suspected to have the virus infection, travelled to areas with confirmed cases, or have come into close contact with someone who has travelled to high risk areas, and thereafter experienced symptoms, to seek immediate medical attention”, said Dr Stan Moloabi, GEMS Principal Officer.“Following the government’s declaration of a national lockdown, a measure introduced to break the increasing trend of transmission of the Coronavirus infections, the Scheme urges members to stay at home. The Scheme reiterates that members should continue observing basic hygiene measures in order to minimize the risk of infection and spreading the virus during the lockdown period. All GEMS’ beneficiaries are urged to follow the guidelines published by the NICD and the NDoH which we have shared previously,” said Dr Moloabi.GEMS now funds all clinically appropriate care and related costs, including coronavirus related testing, in line with Circular 25 of the Council for Medical Schemes and in accordance with the Medical Schemes Act of 1998 read with the Scheme Rules. The effect of the development is that GEMS members can be assured that the COVID 19 outbreak will not affect their day to day benefits and savings.GEMS’ Actuarial estimates are that the Scheme will spend around R 900 million in the treatment and care of GEMS beneficiaries who will be affected by COVID 19.All of the above spend will come from the risk fund and as stated above and will not affect the members’ day to day benefits or savings. Yet another way that GEMS gives back to its members during these difficult times.Members are again reminded that they can also contact the Government 24hr COVID 19 Hotline at 0800 029 99. The COVID 19 WhatsApp line is 0600 123 456.Lastly, GEMS call centre remains fully operational during the lockdown period and can be reached 0860 00 4367. We will continue to keep members informed of any new developments through the Scheme’s website, social media platforms, regular SMS and through the call centre.To learn more about the benefits of being a GEMS member visit www.gems.gov.za.This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by GEMS.