GEORGE NEWS - Mediclinic George manager Kassie Karstens confirmed that a few local people have been tested for the coronavirus (Covid-19), but to date nobody tested positive.
Karstens responded to a rumour that a patient covered in a space blanket was pushed out of the Mediclinic Geneva on Wednesday night, 11 March, by medical personnel with masks and protective clothing.
In response to the rumour, he said a patient was admitted on Wednesday evening, 11 March, to be isolated while waiting for the results of testing for coronavirus. "The tests were performed at another facility, although he did not meet the case definition for the coronavirus (having travelled abroad to countries where infections have been reported, among others)," said Karstens.
The man is still in hospital.
Karstens said should someone who tests positive be admitted, they will be accommodated in a private room and nursing personnel caring for the person will wear the appropriate a mask and protective clothing. "People should remain calm. Contracting the virus does not necessarily lead to serious symptoms. Most people who are infected, stay home for a few days to recover."
Asked if the hospital would be ready in case of an outbreak, he said, "Few people really need hospitalisation, but if necessary, we will accommodate them."
National Health Department
In a statement on Tuesday 10 March, the National Health Department said 20% of coronavirus patients have more severe disease and most of them will need hospitalisation for oxygen and to treat their symptoms and any other bacterial co-infection that may arise. Five percent of patients will need ICU. "The mortality rate is 2 to 4%, depending on the kind of statistics one is looking at."
It said decisions to put restrictions on the movement and gathering of people "is one that cannot be taken lightly". "It will require extensive consultation, on an urgent basis, to ensure that safety of citizens is placed at the forefront of deliberations whilst we weigh up the consequences of such measures. As such, we are not yet at a stage to make major announcements on any types of restriction or travel bans, however South Africans must be assured that the matters are currently being deliberated and will require a cabinet decision."
17 positive in SA
The number of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in South Africa increased by four new cases to 17 today, Thursday 12 March.
The National Health Department has confirmed the country's first local transmission of Covid-19 (coronavirus) in the Free State. A 32-year-old man came into contact with a Chinese businessman, making it the first case of local transmission. All other cases have been by patients who had travelled abroad, the department said.
The other three cases are:
• A 38-year-old man from Durban who lives in Turkey and was visiting his family in South Africa. He had travelled to the UK and returned to South Africa on 7 March.
• A 27-year-old woman from Mpumalanga who had travelled to the United States has tested positive. She returned to South Africa on 7 March.
• A 43-year-old man from Johannesburg who had travelled to New York via Dubai and returned to South Africa.
According to the department, all patients are in self-quarantine and have mild to moderate symptoms. They are also on symptomatic treatment. Tracing teams are now making a list and have started contacting individuals that have been identified as these patients' contacts.
The World Health Organisation yesterday declared the outbreak as a pandemic. At a media briefing, the Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, said, "WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction....
"Of the 118 000 cases reported globally, more than 90% of cases are in just four countries, and two of those - China and the Republic of Korea - have significantly declining epidemics. 81 countries have not reported any cases, and 57 countries have reported 10 cases or less."
WHO: 'Scale up emergency response mechanisms'
"We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: all countries can still change the course of this pandemic. If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace, and mobilize their people in the response, those with a handful of cases can prevent those cases becoming clusters, and those clusters becoming community transmission."
"I remind all countries that we are calling on you to activate and scale up your emergency response mechanisms. Communicate with your people about the risks and how they can protect themselves – this is everybody’s business. Find, isolate, test and treat every case and trace every contact. Ready your hospitals. Protect and train your health workers."
WHO SITUATION REPORT IN NUMBERS:
Total and new cases in last 24 hours:
118 322 confirmed (4623 new)
4292 deaths (280 new)
80 955 confirmed (31 new)
3162 deaths (22 new)
• Outside of China
37 367 confirmed (4592 new)
1130 deaths (258 new)
113 countries/territories/ areas (4 new)
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