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Covid-19: Cases Rise, Let’s Stop The Spread | Affinity Health

In a fourth wave of infections believed to be caused by the Covid-19 variant, Omicron, the number of coronavirus cases in South Africa continues to climb dramatically.


What Is Omicron?

Omicron has been the dominant COVID-19 variant among samples examined in South Africa since it was initially sequenced and announced by South African experts on November 25.


While it’s too early to draw any conclusions about the variation, infection rates are rising the quickest in Gauteng, the country’s epicentre of the outbreak. KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape are two more provinces with a significant number of instances.


Official data from South Africa showed that cases had more than doubled in a week after 19,842 were documented at the time of publication. As the variation spreads across the area, instances in three of South Africa’s neighbours – Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Eswatini – are beginning to rise.


As more information becomes available, a fuller picture of the variation is starting to emerge in healthcare facilities across the country.


According to physicians, Omicron appears to be no worse than earlier clinical presentation varieties – and possibly even milder.


However, it is believed to be possibly more contagious, and Affinity Health encourages all South Africans to do everything in their power to keep themselves – and their loved ones – safe.


What Are Some COVID-19 Prevention Strategies?

“We must continue to take immediate and drastic steps to manage the disease, safeguard our country’s citizens, and decrease the virus’s impact on our society and economy,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“The greatest strategy to avoid spreading the sickness is to avoid coming into contact with it.”


Here are the top things you can do to help stop COVID-19 from spreading:

If You Are Eligible, Get The Covid-19 Vaccine

The South African government has secured sufficient doses to vaccinate over 40 million people in South Africa, well within the target set out for the national campaign.


While the vaccine is beneficial to everybody who receives it, it is especially critical for those at a higher risk of having severe COVID-19 sickness, such as older adults and persons of any age who have certain medical conditions, such as pregnancy.


Wash Your Hands For At Least 20 Seconds With Soap And Water

This includes things like blowing your nose, coughing, and so forth. Before eating or cooking, always wash your hands. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t accessible. Unwashed hands should not be used to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.


Wear A Facemask

In indoor public settings, if you are not completely vaccinated and are two or older, you should wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. A fabric face covering may not protect the person from the virus, but it may help prevent the illness from spreading to others.


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises people in locations with a high number of COVID-19 cases to consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings for activities that require close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated or in situations where social distancing measures are challenging to maintain.


Social Distance, Work From Home And Avoid Crowds And Poorly Ventilated Interior Locations

Maintain a 1.8-metre distance between yourself and individuals who do not live with you. Instead of shaking hands, kissing, or hugging, consider a hand wave or a grin as a social touch.

Keep “high-touch” surfaces clean regularly

Use appropriate home disinfectants to clean and disinfect regularly handled objects and surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, workstations, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.


Practice Hygiene After Coughing And Sneezing

If you’re coughing or sneezing while wearing a mask, change it as soon as possible and wash your hands. If you’re not wearing a mask, use a tissue or the inside of your elbow to cover your mouth and nose. Toss used tissues in the garbage and promptly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.


Keep A Daily Check On Your Health

Be on the lookout for signs and symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. If symptoms appear, take your temperature. Find out when to seek help and how to communicate with a caregiver. COVID-19 patients who are only mildly unwell can recuperate at home. Unless you require medical attention, do not leave.

When Traveling, Follow All Safety Precautions

Travel should be postponed until you are fully immunised. Check your destination’s travel regulations. At the airport and on the plane, wear a mask over your nose and mouth. If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, are unwell, or test positive for COVID-19, don’t travel.


Stock Up On Medications

Make sure you have enough groceries, home products, and medications (including OTC medications) on hand, and keep your doctor’s contact details handy should you need to order any medications over the phone or online.


Extra Precautions For High-Risk Patients

Individuals who are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 should take extra care to avoid infection.


This category includes people who:
  • Are you over 60 years old
  • Have you been diagnosed with heart disease
  • Have diabetes
  • Have a lung disease, such as asthma
  • Are using anti-inflammatories


What To Do If You’re Sick

Here’s what to do if you’re feeling sick and suspect you may have Covid-19.

  • If you have a fever, a cough, or are having trouble breathing, consult your doctor right away. Remember to call first and then follow your local health authority’s instructions.
  • Learn about the complete range of COVID-19 symptoms. Fever, dry cough, fatigue, and loss of taste or smell are the most prevalent COVID-19 symptoms. Aches and pains, headaches, sore throats, red or irritated eyes, diarrhoea, a skin rash, or discoloration of fingers or toes are less common symptoms.
  • Stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, plus three days after they have passed.
  • Keep up with the latest information from reputable sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or your local and national health authorities.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance, offering you a range of options at affordable rates including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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