There may be a time when you have to wear your mask in the house, says Dr. Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association.
This may be necessary because some members of the family go out daily and are in contact with many people, and may be able to transmit the virus to anyone staying at home.
“Of course, it will depend on the situation. For example, if someone is sitting and working alone at an office, away from other people, the risk is lower and the mask may not be needed in the home.
“But if the person is working in a busy environment with a lot of contact with others, or sitting in a crowded classroom, they may be able to bring the virus home and transmit it to those staying at home,” she says.
“The rhyme to remember is: I care about you, that’s why I wear my mask.”
“The most important thing is to wash your hands with soap and water, maintain a healthy distance from others and of course good ventilation.”
According to Coetzee, good ventilation in the home and in the classroom or office is of utmost importance. “I know it’s not easy in the winter, but it’s so important that we point it out as the fourth most important thing, besides masks, hands and a healthy distance.”
She says people should avoid air conditioners. It is also not necessary to disinfect the house.
“A cloth with lukewarm water and soap is perfectly adequate. Wipe the surfaces with it, and if you really want to, you can make a Jik mixture that you spray on the surface. That’s enough. “
Coetzee cannot emphasize enough the importance of ventilation in a room, especially when someone with underlying illnesses lives in the home.
According to the Health Department’s guidelines, people with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and asthma should follow strict hygiene rules.
This includes: Stay home as far as possible and limit the people you interact with and ask someone to go shopping and get your medication or allowance or pension.
These people are also advised to take their chronic medication faithfully. “If you stop doing that, start using it again.”
The department also advises people to identify a room and bathroom where a sick family member can isolate themselves if they have symptoms and / or test positive.
“Move sick people to separate rooms or parts of a home. They should have no contact with other people in the house at all.
“If there is more than one person in a house to be set apart, these people must be kept separate. If this is not possible, contact your healthcare provider or the provincial helpline. “
The health department says if the results of the coronavirus test are negative, they can move around freely. “If the results are positive, the person must be separated from the rest of the household for 14 days. This also applies to people they have been in contact with. ”
If there is a positive case, people are advised to leave food for the person at the door. “Regularly ask about symptoms, and remove garbage and dirty laundry. Use specific items such as crockery, towels and bedding only for the sick person. Wash articles used in hot water.
“Heat helps to disinfect the articles. Where available, use warm water in the washing machine (60 ° C to 100 ° C), and tumble dry and iron the articles. ”
The department says: “Put garbage in a double bag (two plastic bags, one in the other) and store for five days before being disposed of for garbage disposal.”