Many South Africans are understandably concerned about the possibility of becoming infected with Covid-19.
There are simple steps that individuals who meet case criteria, and suspect that they may have Covid-19 – the illness caused by the novel coronavirus – should take to ensure that they access healthcare appropriately, so that they can be assisted as efficiently and effectively as possible.
“It is every person’s responsibility to take the necessary precautions to prevent the possible spread of Covid-19 in our country. We encourage everyone to remain calm and follow the appropriate steps to protect their health and that of others, and to access healthcare resources in a responsible manner,” says Mande Toubkin, Netcare’s general manager of emergency and trauma.
Individuals who meet the case definitions for Covid-19 and suspect that they may have Covid-19, should follow the steps outlined below to access healthcare appropriately and to ensure that they are not responsible for spreading the infection to other people.
What not to do
Don’t go to a hospital or emergency department for screening or testing
“Individuals wanting to be screened or tested for Covid-19 should not go to a hospital or emergency department. Emergency departments are specialised facilities that are equipped to provide urgent life-saving care to patients with traumatic injuries or medical emergencies. Over 80% of people with Covid-19 will have minor to moderate symptoms and there is no reason for them to be seen in an emergency department,” she says.
“Coming to a hospital if you suspect that you have Covid-19, places the hospital community or others at unnecessary risk. What is important is that you practise social distancing and self-quarantine at home so you don’t spread the infection to others.”
Don’t go to the GP’s rooms without phoning in advance
Phone your primary healthcare provider if you meet the case definitions for Covid-19 and suspect you may have Covid-19.
When phoning your GP, bring relevant information to their attention including:
- • your recent travel history,
- • contact with persons who had recently travelled to countries with Covid-19 outbreaks,
- • personal contact with a person with confirmed Covid-19,
- • or symptoms associated with Covid-19 that you are experiencing
What you should do
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