Coronavirus death toll at 1873, NICD continues surveillance

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Coronavirus death toll in China now stands at 1873 deaths, with three of the deaths recorded outside China.  

With the rising numbers, surveillance and monitoring activities of the Coronavirus outbreak continue at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

As of 18 February 2020, the NICD tested 87 people for Coronavirus, 49 of which met the case definition for the Coronavirus (COV-19) person under investigation (PUI), and all results came back negative.

“We can assure South Africans that the country has not had a confirmed case of COVID-19.

“Through the National Emergency Operations Centre, updating of guidelines and training of healthcare professionals, and taking steps to expand the scope for testing for COVID-19, the NICD continues to strengthen capacity to better contain and manage the COVID-19 outbreak from entering South Africa,” said the NICD in statement on Tuesday.

The NICD thanked South Africans and healthcare professionals for continuing to provide information to the NICD through the clinicians’ hotline number and the public toll-free number.

The Institute urged the public to continue practising hand hygiene and cough etiquette, and adhering to the following:

  • Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
  • Practice frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment.
  • Avoid visiting markets where live animals are sold.
  • Travellers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing and wash hands).
  • Health practitioners should provide travellers with information to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections, via travel health clinics, travel agencies, conveyance operators and at points of entry. Travellers should self-report if they feel ill. – SAnews.gov.za

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