Earlier this morning, it was announced that President Cyril Ramaphosa has begun a period of self-quarantine.
This comes after a guest at a charity event he attended this past Saturday tested positive for COVID-19.
The event was a fundraising dinner for the Adopt-a-School Foundation, which is a partner entity of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, hosted at a Johannesburg hotel and attended by 35 guests.
The event adhered stringently to COVID-19 protocols and directives on screening, social distancing and the wearing of masks. As was the case with all guests, the President himself removed his mask only when dining and addressing the guests.
The Adopt-a-School Foundation advised dinner guests yesterday, Tuesday, 27 October, that a guest had shown symptoms on Sunday and had been tested on Monday before receiving a positive result yesterday.
The statement finishes by saying that Ramaphosa “will perform his duties remotely and will observe the guidelines that apply to self-quarantine”.
A quick lesson on the difference between self-isolation and self-quarantine. The former separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick, and the latter separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
Much of what self-quarantine entails is pretty straightforward. You stay at home, remain as isolated from everyone else as possible, and minimise any risk factors that could be associated with the spread of the virus.
As Business Insider SA points out, some of those risk factors extend to things you may not have considered:
Ramaphosa is supposed to stay in his own room as much as possible, and use his own roll of toilet paper.
But we digress, so let’s get back to how long the president will remain in self-quarantine.
Again from Business Insider SA:
The generally accepted median incubation rate for Covid-19 is between four and six days, which means that the President becomes a lot less likely to have the disease by the end of this weekend.
But the accepted range of incubation is one to 14 days, which makes 8 November the all-clear date – for now.
The Presidency’s statement says that he “is screened regularly by the South African Military Health Service and subjects himself to screening at venues where he participates in engagements”, and he won’t necessarily have to test negative before he is allowed to leave self-quarantine.
At this stage, it’s still unsure if the new developments will affect the 8PM address to the nation that Ramaphosa had scheduled for this week.
After the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) presidential Q&A yesterday, we do know that he’s rubbished talk of returning to a ‘hard’ lockdown in the immediate future.
I’m going with three-ply for his private bathroom, by the way.
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