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Avoid hospitals during coronavirus outbreak

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South Africans who suspect they may have Covid-19 should not go to a hospital or emergency department for screening and testing, says Mande Toubkin, Netcare’s general manager for emergency and trauma.

“Emergency departments are specialised facilities. More than 80% of people with Covid-19 will have minor to moderate symptoms and there is no reason for them to be seen in an emergency department.

“Coming to a hospital if you suspect you have Covid-19 places the hospital community and others at unnecessary risk. It is important you practise social distancing and self-quarantine at home so you don’t spread the infection to others.”

Rather, people should phone their primary healthcare provider who will assess their condition and advise if they should be tested. “If you suspect you have Covid-19, you need to self-quarantine,” she says.


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