The Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, recently announced revised guidelines pertaining to self-isolation at home.
It was recommended that the isolation period for patients with a confirmed Covid-19 infection has been reduced from 14 to 10 days, based on evidence that most patients with a mild Covid-19 infection continue to shed the virus from their upper airways for approximately seven to 12 days, he said.
The presence of a detectable virus when testing does not necessarily imply infectiousness: “In mild cases, virus cultures are generally only positive for eight to nine days after symptom onset,” he said, adding that the duration of infectiousness in patients with severe disease, requiring hospital admission due to clinical instability, was less well established.
He said in general, patients with a severe disease may continue to shed the virus at higher levels for longer periods than patients with mild disease.
Mkhize also published a new directive which details the self-isolation and quarantine criteria that should be followed for people returning to South Africa.
If a person coming from abroad’s application is approved by the Director-General: Health, he or she will be allowed to self-quarantine or isolate on arrival and will be subjected to health reporting protocols and regular follow-ups by the Department of Health.
Some medical aids provide for patients to opt for admission at certain hotels that cater for people who have Covid-19: The benefit is useful for those who live with elderly people or who live alone.
These benefits usually provide members who have been diagnosed with Covid-19 or awaiting their tests results with a reduced rate to self-isolate at one of their partnered hotels and have been initiated with the hope to relieve some of the pressure on the healthcare system and to assist people to access the right environment and have access to supportive medical care for isolation.
Story: Nelie Erasmus