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Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that can make people and animals sick. It presents as a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness, similar to the flu. Covid-19 is a new infectious disease caused by a newly identified coronavirus.

The coronavirus is spread through fluid droplets when you sneeze, cough, talk or scream. The fluid droplets end up on people’s hands and the surfaces around them. The virus is then passed on to you when you touch your eyes, nose and/or moth after coming into contact with their hands or the surfaces. The coronavirus can survive on surfaces for several days.

Covid-19 presents as a mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough (usually dry), fatigue, myalgia (sore muscles/ body), difficulty breathing and loss of taste and/or smell. Note that a sore throat and runny nose tend to be less common in Covid-19 than in flu or other upper respiratory tract infections.


Follow these preventative measures to slow the spread of the virus:

  • Keep a distance between you and other people

    • Work from home if possible.

    • Stay home when you’re feeling sick.

  • Keep a physical distance between people

    • Stay at least 1,5 meters (approximately two arm lengths) from people.

    • Don’t shake hands, hug, or fist and elbow bump.

  • Wash and/or sanitise your hands

    • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds.

    • Use alcohol-based sanitiser to clean your hands.

    • Wash your hands after touching people, surfaces and objects.

  • Practice good hygiene

    • Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or a tissue. Used tissues must be discarded in a bin immediately and your hands washed.

    • Wash your hands before touching your face.

  • Wear a cloth mask

    • Masks must cover your nose and mouth.

    • Don’t touch the mask after putting it on.

    • Always keep your mask on unless you are eating. Carefully take your mask off by the strings and place it in a clean bag.  


For more detailed information, please visit The World Health Organisation and the COVID-19 South African Online Portal.

Adjusted alert level 1 was in place from 1 October 2021 to 4 April 2022. The National State of Disaster has been lifted as from 5 April 2022, but general measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 remains in place.


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