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latest: coronavirus in South Africa

Throughout the coronavirus crisis, the Mail & Guardian will be updating this page several times a day with the latest information and advice from government and healthcare experts around the world.

Data used in these charts comes from multiple sources, including the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, the Data Science for Social Impact Research Group, and the health departments of Gauteng and the Western Cape.

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South Africa’s vaccination roll-out is beginning to pick up pace, with new sources of supply being acquired. As of July 1, residents over the age of 50 can register for a vaccination at the official Department of Health site here.

We’ve included a map of vaccination sites, generated by Africa Data Hub, below.

WATCH: M&G on Covid-19

When should you seek medical attention?

The NICD has advised that if a person develops symptoms of Covid-19, and they have reason to believe they have been in contact with someone who has the virus, they are to self-isolate immediately and implement measures to prevent transmission.

A toll-free public hotline (0800 029 999) has been set up for people who feel sick with a fever, cough or have difficulty breathing.

Tests are only available if you are referred by a health professional. In the first instance, you should contact your GP. Public sector testing is free of charge.

“In cases where it is difficult to assess the onset of symptoms, for example in young children or the elderly, self-quarantine for 14 days after return from international travel may be considered as a precautionary measure,” the NICD’s website notes.

So how do you protect yourself?

On its website, the WHO notes that: “The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are spread when a person with Covid-19 coughs or exhales. Other people then catch Covid-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch Covid-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with Covid-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets.”

This is why it is important to stay more than one metre away from a person who is sick, the organisation advises.

WHO lists a number of measures that can be taken to reduce your risk of infection. These include:

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water;
  • Maintain at least a one metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing;
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately; and
  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance.

People who are infected may show no symptoms, so it is advised that people avoid crowds during the outbreak.

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