Two confirmed COVID-19 cases in Newcastle, Mediclinic admits one and educates residents on how to safeguard themselves

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Mediclinic can confirm that a patient with COVID-19 has been admitted to Mediclinic Newcastle.

In strict accordance with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and National Department of Health protocols, Mediclinic has implemented the necessary measures to manage any patients testing positive with the virus and to prevent any potential transmission in our facilities.

According to a statement issued by Tertia Kruger, Corporate Communications Manager for Mediclinic Southern Africa, the patient in question has been accommodated in an isolation unit, where nursing staff are trained and equipped to manage the patient according to the level of care the illness requires.

Following the news that a Newcastle resident has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, a sense of anxiety surrounds the Newcastle community.

This is the second confirmed case in Newcastle, following a woman who contracted COVID-19. The woman, who is Newcastle’s first suspected case, was part of a group of 14 people who recently went on a cruise. During the trip, she fell ill, developing a cough an ill throat. She initially suspected her symptoms were caused by the ship’s airconditioning.

Upon returning home, she went to see her doctor who had her tested for COVID-19. The private laboratory’s results came back as positive.  Her husband tested negative.

Since the private lab’s findings, the entire group is in self-isolation and are awaiting their test results from NICD.

“Being stuck at home is not very nice, especially for our children who are now developing a touch of cabin fever,” says a member of the group. He adds that the group now relies heavily on others to do shopping for them, so they do not come into contact with anyone else,

“We were tested on Saturday (March 21) and we will remain in self-isolation until we get our results back, which should be within this week,” the source adds.

As they await their test results, the source says the group never once thought that they stood a chance of contracting the virus. “When we went, there was a lot of talks about it being overseas.”

However, the group remains upbeat and positive.

“The moment we heard we had to be tested, we all decided to remain calm and be responsible,” says another member of the group.

He says the entire group immediately took the necessary steps to be tested, before going into self-isolation. “We are now all working at home and waiting for our results.”

As the group of 14 people wait for their results, a member of the group encourages the Newcastle community to remain calm and not to panic.

“It is important to remain calm and to avoid panic. We are all in the same boat,” he says

Social distancing is also of the utmost importance, this helps minimise the spread of any virus such as COVID-19. One of the ways to carry out social distancing is maintaining a one-metre distance from anyone who might seem ill.

If you suspect you might have come into contact with someone who had COVID-19, you can contact the NICD public hotlines. The numbers can be contacted on 0800 029 999 or 0800 111 132.

Mediclinic has provided the following guidelines, which were compiled to ensure safer home care to reduce the potential spread of the virus to other occupants or carers.

The information is aimed at the following people:

  • People who may have been exposed to a positive case when travelling; working or living with someone who has the virus.
  • People who have tested positive for COVID-19, but their condition does not require hospitalisation and they can recover at home.
  • Patients who were hospitalised for initial treatment, but can now return home.

The recommendations are as follows:

  • Remain at home while having symptoms
  • Do not go to school or work, avoid public areas, public transport and social activities.
  • Use a separate bedroom if possible or try to sleep alone in a bed
  • Keep rooms well-ventilated or the windows open
  • Use a separate bathroom if possible.
  • Limit contact with people.
  • No visitors (only those living in the house)
  • Where possible keep a safe distance from the older adult population and those with chronic illness
  • If visits are necessary, try and maintain a distance of two meters from others where possible.

Wear a mask if:

  • In close proximity or in the same room as others.
  • It is necessary to leave the house, e.g. a doctor’s visit
  • Alternatively:
  • Maintain social distancing recommendations
  • Cover your cough and perform hand hygiene
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