Community News

Stop spreading fake news!

Read the facts…

Michele du Plessis

On March 7th there were 102 570 Coronavirus cases worldwide and 3 501 deaths; 41 375 active cases and 61 195 closed cases (meaning cases which had an outcome) resulting in 57 694 recovered cases (94%) and 6% (3501) deaths. South African Minister of Health reported the first COVID-19 case on March 5th and on March 7th, a second case was reported.

“The NICD wishes to stress that the evidence available to date suggests that the vast majority of cases of COVID-19 (>80%) have mild illness and severe illness is predominantly in the elderly and those with underlying illnesses who are also at risk of other respiratory infections.” From the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

Unfortunately, fake news about the Coronavirus spread on social media platforms, such as WhatsApp, creates unnecessary widespread panic, contributing to the panic world-wide. People were seen in Sabie wearing medical facemasks, undoubtedly to protect themselves.

So, you may ask if you should wear a mask to protect yourself. The WHO has an answer for that: “Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. A disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely. The WHO advises rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and misuse of masks.”

Please reframe from entertaining fake news! Please read the facts as provided on the World Health Organisation, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the Department of Health websites where the following information was attained from.

Should I worry about COVID-19?

Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness: about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care. While we are still learning about how COVID-2019 affects people, older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others. It is therefore quite normal for people to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect them and their loved ones.

We can channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. First and foremost among these actions is regular and thorough hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene. Secondly, keep informed and follow the advice of the local health authorities including any restrictions put in place on travel, movement and gatherings. Learn more about how to protect yourself at

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