Medical council emphasises importance of wearing masks

The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) has emphasised the importance of wearing a mask to help slow the spread of COVID-19 as hotspot areas are emerging across the country.

South Africa has recorded over 144 264 COVID-19 cases of which 70 614 have recovered and 2 529 have died.

The Health Department says Gauteng is expected to emerge as the next epicentre of the disease in the country.

The Search Results SAMRC’s President, Professor Glenda Gray says, “There are three things we have to do to try and limit the spread of COVID-19. 1 to wear a mask, 2 maintain physical distance, 3 have complete and good hand hygiene. Together, these will help limit the spread.”

“Using masks is important because a lot of people are asymptomatic and you don’t know that you are carrying the virus. If you have a mask on your face and you cough or breathe, the virus is captured in the cloth close to your mouth and it helps protect other people, adds Gray.

The Health Department says COVID-19 models predict that Gauteng will within the coming days emerge as the next epicentre of the disease in the country. According to a report by the Portfolio Committee of Health in the Gauteng Legislature, the department attributes this to inward migration, large population sizes in the metro and the congregating of people.

The Gauteng government says it’s worried that the province is experiencing an alarming increase in COVID-19 infections, with the death toll also rising. Most of those who’ve died from COVID-19 are men with commodities such as diabetes and hypertension.

According to the report, the department had responded by putting measures to cap the spread of COVID-19.

These include procurement of two private laboratory services, the establishment of district response teams, continued screening and contact tracing, targeted testing approach and continued education and awareness as well as daily monitoring of the virus behaviour. About 2 188 people are in quarantine facilities provided by the department