Preventive measures to avoid COVID-19

In a period of general anxiety about the outbreak of COVID-19, it is important to keep a cool head, pray for avoidance of infection and prepare for the worst possible scenario in terms of spread. There is a desperate need for knowing which sources to trust. The World Health Organisation remains the authoritative source on progress in containing the virus and the spread of infection from it. South Africa announced its first case of COVID-19 yesterday. It is important to minimize travel and to report early should the above symptoms occur.  Nobody is entirely safe, not even those that do not travel, but a few measures will protect most of society from infection. Our own Faculty of Medicine, through the Dean’s Office, has issued the advisory below.


Facts to know about COVID-19

  1. COVID-19 is a droplet infection and not air borne. It is contracted by touching or being in contact with the infected surface. After sneezing or coughing the droplet travels for 10 feet (3 meters) and it drops to the ground or get attached to any surface. It survives for at least 12 hours on a metal surface and between 6-12 hours on fabric material.
  2. Incubation period 2-14 days after exposure
  3. Fecal shedding of the virus has been noted but fecal -oral transmission has not yet been documented and is still under study.
  4. Transmission is high in clusters.

Personal measures to avoid COVID-19

  1. Avoid hand shakes
  2. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, before cooking, before eating and after visiting the bathroom.
  3. Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth before thoroughly washing your hands.
  4. Cover your cough or sneeze
  5. Throw the used tissue in the toilet or put it in a plastic bag and throw it in a place or bin where the contents are likely to be incinerated. Avoid throwing used facial tissues everywhere.
  6. Avoid drinking cold water or drinks. This reduces the local temperature of the pharyngeal area making you susceptible to the infection.
  7. Disinfect your clothes with some detergent.

Symptoms of COVID-19

  1. Can be asymptomatic
  2. Sore throat occurs on day 3-4 after having been in contact with an infected person or visiting a place with COVID-19.
  3. Fever
  4. Dry cough
  5. Difficult in breathing usually starts after 5 - 6 days after onset of the symptoms
  6. Development of full blown pneumonia.
  7. Fatigue
  8. Diarrhoea and vomiting might occur.

Measures to be taken at NUST

  1. Encourage personal hygiene and not to litter used facial tissues
  2. Disinfect metal/ wood surfaces (door handles) frequently.
  3. Students and staff to report early to the clinic or phone their health care provider should they develop the above named symptoms. They should not go unannounced as precautionary measures need to be taken prior to arrival at the clinic.
  4. Avoid large gatherings once we get a case in Zimbabwe

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Tel: +263 292 282842
Fax: +263 292 286803




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