As South Africa eases the strict lockdown restrictions, we will enter a new phase in the fight against COVID-19 which will require the country to manage the onward transmission of COVID-19.
This is according to Dr Glenda Gray who is the CEO of the South African Medical Research Council and a member of the government’s COVID-19 ministerial advisory council (MAC).
Gray told ENCA as people go back to school, university, or work, South Africa will have to implement non-pharmaceutical interventions to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.
“We are at this moment in time where we have to co-exist with the virus, try to minimize the spread and mitigate the impact on vulnerable people,” she said.
She said hospitals should be ready, healthcare workers should have enough personal protective equipment and there should be enough oxygen points.
She said South Africans should also adhere to basic rules during this next phase, which includes:
- Adhere to social distancing guidelines.
- Wear masks.
- Wash your hands at least 10 times a day.
- Make sure all surfaces are clean.
- When you touch a surface, wash your hands afterwards.
- Do not remain close to a person for more than 10 minutes.
Gray said the coronavirus will be with us for “a couple of seasons”, which means people have to get used to adhering to these rules.
“Without a vaccine or an antiviral, we have to use the tools which we have to fight the virus,” she said.
She said COVID-19 transmissions will continue to occur, but the aim should be to keep the transmission rate down to ensure the hospitals can cope with severe cases.