Covid19- no need for panic says Dr Khanyeza

That’s the reaction of Dr Musawakhe Khanyeza, a medical practitioner from East Rand (Ekhuruleni), who went on to indicate the spread of Covid-19 in mzansi can and will be contained.

This follows breaking news on Thursday that SA experienced its first casualty by a man who contracted the virus, after returning from Italy.

The confirmation means that SA has become the seventh country in Africa to confirm a case of the deadly coronavirus that emerged in China late last year and has rapidly spread around the globe, wreaking economic havoc and battering financial markets.

While the latest developments were worrying, “we must not allow panic to set in,” indicated Dr Zweli Mkhize, minister of health in parliament on Thursday during a debate on the epidemic, also allayed fears by pointing out the government was not enforcing any immediate restrictions or bans as a result.

This was backed by Dr Khanyeza who said there’s no need for panic since we have the best medical centers to quell the epidemic.

“Yes, it does spread quicker but we can control it due to our climate change as this suppresses the virus but that does not mean we should NOT implement precautionary measures such as washing hands, avoid close contact with sick people and of utter importance monitor our elders who are likely to contract it due to age factor, amongst others,” he said.

Dr Khanyeza also provided the following stats COVID-19 FATALITY RATE BY AGE globally:

Age                            Death Rate (confirmed cases)    Death Rate (all cases)

80+ year old                                21.9%                                         14.8%

70-79 year old                                                                                  8.0%

60-69 year old                                                                                  3.6%

50- 59 year old                                                                                 1.3%

40-49 year old                                                                                  0.4%

30-39 year old                                                                                  0.2%

20-29 year old                                                                                  0.2%

10-19 year old                                                                                 0.2%

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and World Health Organisation (WHO) provided these tips on what people can do to help protect themselves.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. WHO said hands can transfer the virus and enable it to enter the body.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick and try to keep a distance from others at home.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a flexed elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid contact with farm or wild animals (alive or dead), animal markets and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).

The institute said symptoms of the virus included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

“The complete clinical picture … is still not fully clear. Reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying,” according to the NICD website.

“When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain viruses. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the Covid-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease,” said WHO.

WHO urged people to stay informed on the latest developments and hot spots of the virus.

Image (Meeting of Medics. Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, in the company of MEC Health Gauteng Dr Bandile Masuku, minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and other unidentified Doctors meting out plans on the spread of Coronavirus).

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