Public urged not to panic after South Africa reports first case of Coronavirus

Public urged not to panic after South Africa reports first case of Coronavirus
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Ministry of Health and Social Services Executive Director Ben Nangombe has called on the public not to panic as the ministry has put in place measures to ensure preparedness for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Nangombe told NAMPA on Thursday the ministry has learned about the COVID-19 development in South Africa.
The country reported its first case, a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy, on Thursday.
Nangombe said the public should remain calm, “because when there’s panic, people don’t take rational decisions.”
At a media briefing held last week, the executive director stated that a COVID-19 response plan has been developed and presented to Cabinet and funds were allocated.
He added that TempScanners for detecting high body temperatures have been installed at key ports of entry such as at the Hosea Kutako International Airport, the Walvis Bay International Airport and Oshikango border post.
“So far the equipment is working and travellers are being screened with the thermal screening equipment and filling in a specific form where they indicate their travel history for follow-up purposes,” said Nangombe.
He said equipment has also been dispatched to other points of entry, while district hospitals are equipped with the necessary facilities to deal with any possible cases of COVID-19.
The executive director further urged the public to continue practising good personal hygiene and to seek medical attention should they develop a high fever, coughing or sneezing and shortness of breath.
“Regularly wash your hands with soap and water and cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues or cloth when coughing or sneezing. Also, avoid crowded places and keep a distance of one meter away from anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing,” he cautioned.
The coronavirus outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January 2020.