Advice for matrics who attended a superspreader event

06 December 2020 - 18:10 By TimesLIVE
Health minister Zweli Mkhize made an urgent appeal on Sunday for pupils who attended coastal matric rage parties to go into isolation to reduce the risk of infecting more people.
Health minister Zweli Mkhize made an urgent appeal on Sunday for pupils who attended coastal matric rage parties to go into isolation to reduce the risk of infecting more people.
Image: 123RF / maridav

Health minister Zweli Mkhize made an urgent appeal on Sunday for pupils who attended coastal matric rage parties — confirmed to be superspreader events — to go into isolation to reduce the risk of infecting more people.

“We confirm that we have now identified a number of Covid-19 confirmed cases arising from these superspreader events. This therefore means that if you attended any of these rage events, you are now regarded as a contact,” he said on Sunday.

Parents were also advised to have their children tested for Covid-19.

Johannesburg-based general practitioner Dr Sheri Fanaroff has shared practical suggestions on how to slow down the spread of the virus with matrics returning from a superspreader event in a post shared on Facebook.

“Please confirm all medical advice with your own GP,” the post said. Read it in full below:

IF YOU ARE SYMPTOMATIC AND STILL IN UMHLANGA

Try to get tested to confirm if you are positive.

Assume that you have Covid if you have any symptoms. Symptoms include sore throat, cough, headache, fever, chills, body pain, runny nose, loss of taste or smell, diarrhoea.

 You need to ISOLATE for 10 days.

If you want to return to Joburg and have symptoms, you CANNOT board a plane knowing you are positive. You will need to drive home or isolate in Umhlanga. The person driving the car will become a contact. To minimise risk — both the driver and the patient should wear a surgical/N95 mask in the car. Keep windows open. Infected matric should sit in back seat on opposite side of car to driver. All car windows should be open.

IF YOU ARE ASYMPTOMATIC (HAVE NO SYMPTOMS) AND ARE STILL IN UMHLANGA

You need to QUARANTINE for a minimum of 10 days.

If you have the funds and access to a test, I would suggest having a test.

Regardless of a positive or negative test result, if you have attended rage parties, you are a high risk contact and need to quarantine for 10 days.

If you wish to return to Joburg, the ideal is to travel by car so as not to infect others on a plane. See advice from above for travelling by car.

If you are not a known close contact and do travel home by aeroplane:

• You need to be extremely cautious on the plane and at home in case infected and contagious to others.

• Wear two masks or surgical mask/N95 mask if you have.

• Open air vents over seats.

• Try stay as far away from people as possible.

 • Sanitise hands often

 • In car on way home from airport, only one person should fetch; wear masks and keep windows open; matric should sit in back of car on opposite side to driver.

• Once home, you need to quarantine (in your room to protect your family) for at least 10 days (14 days ideal)

IF YOU HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS AND ARE NOW AT HOME

Contact your doctor and go for a Covid test.

Assume you are positive anyway and ISOLATE for ten days.

Symptoms include sore throat, cough, headache, fever, chills, body pain, runny nose, loss of taste or smell, diarrhoea.

 If Covid test is positive, notify your contacts, notify the Covid app, and get advice from your GP regarding any medications, recommended vitamin regime and how to monitor symptoms including temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate and oxygen levels.

IF YOU ARE ASYMPTOMATIC AND BACK AT HOME

Even if you are unaware of being a definite close contact, you have been at a superspreader event and need to QUARANTINE FOR A MINIMUM OF 10 DAYS.

If you have access to have a test, I would suggest testing even if you have no symptoms.

 If you test positive, contact your doctor for advice and follow step 3 above.

 You could have a second test on DAY 7 if your first test is negative and you remain without symptoms.

I cannot stress enough the need for matrics who have been at rage to take responsibility and take quarantine seriously regardless of having symptoms or positive/negative tests.

While teens are likely to have mild or asymptomatic infections, the impact of this on the broader SA community if they travel around the country spreading the virus as they go is disastrous!

For the entire community:

PLEASE APPLY SAFE PRACTICES BY

Washing Hands

Wearing Masks

Maintaining Social Distance

Avoiding crowds and gatherings


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