News24 Wire
Wire Service
1 minute read
28 Jan 2020
7:34 am

SA ready to deal with coronavirus, NICD assures

News24 Wire

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the health department have distributed clinical guidelines to doctors and nurses, to accurately diagnose the virus.

Workers manufacture protective face masks in a factory, as face mask stocks run low amid the outbreak of coronavirus, in Handan, Hebei Province, China, 23 January 2020. The outbreak of coronavirus has so far claimed 17 lives and infected more than 550 others, according to media reports. Authorities in Wuhan announced on 23 January, a complete travel ban on residents of Wuhan in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. EPA-EFE/STRINGER CHINA OUT

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has assured South Africans it is prepared if the coronavirus makes its way to South Africa.

“We would like to assure South Africans that we are prepared for the eventuality of an outbreak.

“We have put systems in place to rapidly identify, detect and respond to any cases that may reach our shores,” said Professor Cheryl Cohen of the NICD.

The virus was first detected in Wuhan, China, in January and since then it has claimed more than 80 lives to date. More than 2 700 cases have been confirmed thus far.

“These cases were anticipated due to the proximity and close interlink of transportation modes to Asia,” Cohen said.

“Together with the national Department of Health, the NICD has developed and distributed clinical guidelines and case definitions for doctors and nurses in both the public and private sectors to better detect, identify and respond to a possible 2019-nCoV case.

“The guidelines include guidance on what samples to collect to confirm the diagnosis as well as how to best manage the case clinically and to prevent the spread to others while the diagnosis is being made.”

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