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The Official National Department of Health COVID-19 Support Service: 060 012 3456 (WhatsApp)

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Flattening The Curve

The more the number of Covid-19 cases rises over time, the higher the curve will peak, which will knock all efforts taken to control the spread of the virus out of the same scale.

Because Covid-19 spreads from person-to-person, it is in everybody’s interests to implement strong measures and reduce person-to-person infection.

Flattening the curve means preventing the peak of Covid-19 by working together in practising social distancing. By flattening the curve, we delay the peak of the outbreak, so the country’s health system remains able to cope with the demand on its services.

How can we flatten the curve?

While we cannot currently stop the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa, we have a critical window of opportunity to slow down the spread of the virus as much as possible.

The curve flattens when we practise preventive and protective habits that control how fast it spreads. The more time existing between each person getting infected, the flatter the curve will be.

A lowercurve will mean that healthcare systems can better cope with each Covid-19 case and will not be overwhelmed by a high number of patients falling ill at the same time.

This means that more resources are available to treat ill people at any one time. And it means lives are being saved because hospitals have more time to prepare and use their resources in the right way.

The shape of the curve reflects everyone’s efforts to control the spread of Covid-19.

Together, we can “flatten the curve” in South Africa by practising social distancing.

Social Distancing is the best way to limit the reach of the virus to the elderly, chronic patients, people with low immunity, and everyone who has ongoing respiratory issues.

It’s about everyone. Spending time in public spaces and keeping travel plans doesn’t make anybody “above the hype.” It’s not just about whether children get sick, or about how it’ll be “no worse than a bad cold”.

It’s about everyone you care about. It’s about whether we become carriers and transmit the disease locally. It’s about whether we choose to be a part of the solution instead of being part of the problem.

Even if control measures are being viewed as inconvenient, the Minister of Health has confirmed that social distancing is the lightest measure we can take. Should interventions not be taken seriously, the curve will peak and cost far much more than we can imagine.

The costs of isolation and staying home are a worthy investment in everybody’s health, compared to the losses we might face if social distancing is not taken seriously.

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