Preparing and maintaining health care during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The sheer scale of the current pandemic of the Coronavirus known as COVID-19 has caught many countries off guard. While the public debate is about how threatening the virus is, the reality is that the scientific data gleamed so far is that the world is now aiming to strive an incredibly infectious virus which is proving to be more virulent than the common cold.
While individuals in society have been caught out thinking that they will not be susceptible to this virus, the reality is that, as a highly infectious pathogen, the COVID-19 virus’s biggest threat is to the capacity of health care systems to cope with the dramatic influx of patients requiring ICU for periods of between 3 and 4 weeks.
Below is information to educate and inform you to best be prepared and how communities can flatten the curve (see article below).
COVID-19 Hotline : National Hotline : 080 0029 999 Call this number first if you suspect that you have the COVID-19 symptoms. You will be advised where to go to be tested.
Warning : Do NOT go to your doctor or hospital to be tested. Phone first and arrange were to go so that you don’t infect the hospital or doctors rooms in the event that you are positive.
Know where to go in the Garden Route if you suspect that you have COVID-19 symptoms :
Plan where your closest test location is : Read Link
Garden Route Outbreak Response Contacts :
Important links to valuable information to understand the COVID-19 virus and how it spreads.
- Update #14 : 11th May 2020 : A shift in community transmission of COVID-19, by Kevin Leo-Smith : SA COVID-19 Report by Kevin Leo-Smith
- Update #13 : 22nd April 2020 : The between low blood oxygenation and Pneumonia caused by COVID-19 virus : Read more
- Update #12 : 19th April 2020 : Sober facts about COVID-19 to dispel conspiracy theories. Read more
- Update #11 : 16th April 2020 : A statistical analysis of the COVID-19 data with a prediction model. Read more.
- Update #10 : 8th April 2020 : A fascinating map of the global spread of COVID-19. View here.
- Update #9 : 1st April 2020 : Preparing psychologically for the long haul transformation of COVID-19 on society. Read more
- Update #8 : 31st March 2020 : Understanding the effects of social distancing : Read more
- Update #7 : 18th March 2020 : The sober maths of a pandemic : Read more
- Update #6 : 15th March 2020 : Video playlist of interviews with Michael Osterholm on how to prepare for and maintain health care capacity by flattening the infection and transmission curve of COVID-19 : View Here
- Update #5 : 15th March 2020 : This is a link to the global infection, recovery and death rates. It is marginally delayed, but gives perspective : Read More
- Update #4 : 15th March 2020 : How does a population alter the rate of infection of COVID-19? This simulation provides a visual of how social distancing can flatten the infection curve : Read More
- Update #3 : 15th March 2020 : Updates on COVID-19 infection rates in the Western Cape : Read More
- Update #2 : 13 March 2020. This article is a concise and details explanation on the infection rates and the threat to public health care in a region and a country. Read More
A South African perspective of COVID-19
- Update #1 10th March 2020 : A very informative common sense approach to COVID-19 by Article by Zelda le Grange
- COVID-19 in a South African context : COVID-19 in SA – Jody Boffa
- COVID-19 in SA and the challenges on the healthcare system by Adrian Gore: COVID-19 in SA by Adrian Gore
Preventative measures :
COVID-19 symptoms :
What to do if you suspect that you have COVID-19 in South Africa :
- Call the NICD Hotline : for any enquiries on where and how to get tested, call the NICD Hotline : +27 80 002 9999
- Be aware of the symptoms. If you suspect that you have the symptoms and want to visit your doctor, call ahead of time to establish if you should go to the practice. Consider that if you do have COVID-19 before you th the doctor and the practice will have to be quarantined which effectively prevents any other patients from being able to visit the practice till it has been sanitized.
- Currently the Mediclinic in George is the only designated hospital to deal with confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases.
- In the event that a case is confirmed and a patient requires an ambulance, ER24 is currently the only ambulance service which is designated to transport confirmed cases. This is due to the time and cost of sterilizing to vehicle after the patient has been delivered to the hospital.
Be aware of the symptoms and don’t panic. The WHO lists the symptoms as follows :
- Mild headache
- Dry cough
- Shortness of Breath
- Incubation without presenting symptoms ranges between 10 and 24 days.
Sources of information :
How to reduce the chance of infection.
- Wash and clean your hands regularly.
- Practice good cough etiquette.
- Provide staff with hand sanitizer and train them on personal conduct in public spaces.
- Companies with staff that deal with large volumes of public should train staff on personal and oral hygiene etiquette and especially in the food industry.
- While there is no consensus on the effectivity of face masks, in highly crowded locations, cover you mouth and nose and avoid unnecessary hand contact with surfaces.