EC prepares for the coronavirus

By now, most of our readers should be aware of the ongoing pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that began in China and has since spread to 23 other countries.

The most recent situation report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that there have been 20,630 confirmed cases around the world.

20,471 of those cases are in China, while 159 are in other countries.

So far, there have been 426 deaths – 425 in China, and one in the Phillipines.

While no cases have been confirmed on the African continent at the time of writing, the South African government is nevertheless taking serious precautions in the event of a potential outbreak.

On a local level, Frere Hospital in East London has been named as a quarantine zone along with Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha and Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth.

“We will continue to remain on high alert throughout the province,” said EC department of health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.

WHO has also released a set of guidelines meant to help citizens reduce their chance of infection. These include washing hands frequently, covering sneezes and coughs with your elbow or a tissue, and seeking medical care early if infection is suspected.

For more information, visit the WHO website.


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