WHAT'S HAPPENING IN SA
To date, six new cases have been reported, which brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 13. The Western Cape has also confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus.
The six people had travelled to different countries in Europe, including Italy, Austria and Germany.
A plane to collect those South Africans who have chosen to be repatriated from Wuhan, China, where the disease broke out, is on the way to collect the affected parties. The government has stressed that none the 120-odd people returning have tested positive for the virus, but quarantine measures will still be in place upon their return.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE REST OF THE WORLD
According to AFP, latest stats show that more than 117 000 positive cases have been confirmed worldwide, with more than 4 200 deaths.
China remains hardest-hit with more than 80 000 cases and 3 000 deaths.
Italy reported four more deaths on Tuesday from prison riots linked to the new coronavirus that has now officially claimed 11 lives over three days.
The justice ministry has blamed all the deaths on drug overdoses that occurred after prisoners broke into medical storage rooms.
In the UK, MP Nadine Dorries, a minister in the health department, has tested positive for the new coronavirus, she said in a statement.
"I can confirm I have tested positive for coronavirus... and have been self-isolating at home," said the Conservative MP.
Health officials are now trying to trace where she contracted the virus and who she has been in contact with, she added.
Scientists say that healthcare professionals should also be looking at the gastrointestinal symptoms of the new coronavirus.
So far, the main symptoms have been mainly respiratory, a dry cough, and shortness of breath, along with a fever. But researchers say that symptoms such as diarrhoea and nausea could potentially give earlier clues to a patient having contracted the virus.
HEALTH TIPS (as recommended by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the World Health Organization)
• Avoid contact with people respiratory infections
• Maintain social distancing – stay at least one metre away from somebody who is coughing or sneezing
• Practice frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, as your hands touch many surfaces and could potentially transfer the virus
• Practice respiratory hygiene – cover your mouth with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Remember to dispose the tissue immediately after use.
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