[imagesource: Savanevich Viktar/ Shutterstock]
Not everyone is taking the lockdown seriously.
I’ve had to have stern words with a couple of people who reckon we’ll all get the virus at some point, so there’s no need to worry too much about masks and so forth.
Most of you know this already, but it is important that we observe the hygiene practises and the physical distancing protocols in place to limit the spread of COVID-19, because while some might be able to fight it off, someone in the high-risk group, with an underlying condition, won’t be so lucky.
Now that we’ve covered that, let’s hand things over to TimesLIVE, who spoke with virologist Wolfgang Preiser (below).
Efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus could already be helping to reduce other illnesses, such as influenza, said Preiser, head of medical virology at Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg National Health Laboratory Service.
“Ultimately most people will get [Covid-19], hopefully over many months to a few years and not all at once, and most will have mild disease and recover without problems,” he said.
He goes on to emphasise that a number of people will get seriously ill and die – and not all of them will be in high-risk groups.
Preiser also believes that the measures in place to combat the coronavirus could also reduce other harmful diseases.
“There is some evidence that there is less influenza than expected already, and perhaps there will be a reduction in diarrhoea, too. Whether that will also translate into less TB remains to be seen, as it is normally not an acute onset illness,” he said.
“A reason for hope is in my mind also that our health care systems are geared up for HIV and TB mass programmes, and I would hope that the same type of structures, etc, will also be used and work against Covid. Improved infection control measures for TB patients should also help addressing Covid.”
Over to René English (below), head of the Centre for Health Systems Strengthening at Stellenbosch University, on the spread of the virus.
“Additional factors such as population density and spatial distribution of our communities, how and where people are transported to and from their workplaces, and community-level responses in terms of practising social distancing are additional factors that promote the spread of the virus,” English said.
“At this stage, however, the numbers are too small and it will require a more detailed analysis of the case and contact data to determine which factors are fuelling the increased numbers of cases in the Western Cape.”
All sectors of society will have to work closely with communities where physical distancing is difficult to find ways to limit the contagion.
If you can physically distance yourself easily, do it.
And, remember to wear your mask when you leave the house.
If you need some motivation to follow the rules, think about the R5 000 fine you could get slapped with if you break them.
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