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Tag: Covid-19


A letter from 19 South African Doctors addressed to President Ramaphosa.

We can only hope their appeal will make a difference.


Dear President Ramaphosa,

We, the undersigned doctors, admire the leadership you have shown in managing the outbreak of Covid-19. You have successfully galvanised unanimous support for the tremendous challenge facing us as a country and specifically as the healthcare profession.


It has given the medical community time to prepare for the predicted surge of seriously ill patients. The public has also been handed a clear indication of the gravity of the situation. It has not, however, eradicated the anticipated pandemic from our country, merely delayed it.


While in Europe and North America, funding might be available to balance the number of severely ill with the number of hospital beds and ventilators, we do not see this as a viable option for South Africa.


Our healthcare system and the economy were already on their knees at the outbreak of Covid-19. The negative effects of keeping the country on the present “hard” lockdown – or even a relatively “light” lockdown – are innumerable. We appeal to you to lift the hard lockdown as soon as possible.


Many patients without Covid-19 are not getting the treatment they require due to the hospitals being emptied for Covid-19 patients. Many of these patients are avoiding hospitals and having their out-patient appointments cancelled. Disruptions in regular prevention programmes, such as immunisation schedules for infants or sexual and reproductive health promotion will undercut our few hard-won health gains since democracy. Together these are steadily building up a backlog of health care that is potentially a crisis in itself.


Doctors in South Africa have sadly had to become accustomed to the harsh realities of limited funding and limited beds for very sick patients. This means giving less than optimal care and even letting patients die as comfortably as possible on a regular basis. As a country we have bought into an international rhetoric which is a poor fit for local circumstances. We are lucky that the present Covid-19 virus does not predominantly kill young people as the flu virus of 1918 did. It does sadly kill many elderly, but this is still a relatively small percentage of the population; at this stage, we do not know the effects on people living with HIV who are not on treatment and those with TB.  If at all, a vaccine is unlikely to be developed and distributed within less than 18 months. Our economy and our healthcare system will be destroyed if we wait much longer and as always, our poorest citizens will suffer the most.


Although current estimates of mortality are more than six times less than initially estimated, at 0.5%, we are approaching winter and there are myriad reasons why the pandemic will hit South Africans harder in winter months. We cannot afford to stay on “hard” lockdown any longer. Each week that we delay is likely to worsen the outcome of the pandemic.


As the health-related, social and financial side effects start to mount, we would strongly urge a return to work for most people.


Those who can work from home or in isolation should be encouraged to do so, but we feel it is critical that the fit and robust return to work, in a staggered fashion wherever possible. Close attention should be given to ensuring that public transport operators adhere to the revised regulations to minimise the transmission risk to their passengers. It might be prudent to keep certain forms of business closed, especially where people congregate, including bars, clubs and any meetings of groups of people, including faith-based gatherings. Restaurants may be allowed to prepare take-away food or arrange home deliveries.


Some restriction on the sale of alcohol during this crisis probably continues to make sense, as it probably reduces the burden on hospitals from alcohol-related traffic accidents and violence resulting in trauma. Limited household budgets may then be spent on food rather than alcohol. People withdrawing from alcohol may consult doctors for help.


Schools (and higher education institutions) that are able to teach via the internet, may continue to do so if they choose, but the vast majority of children cannot do this and their parents need to go back to work to earn money to feed them. Many of these children need to go to school to access food programmes.


All South Africans should be encouraged to continue washing their hands, maintaining physical distancing and taking other steps to slow the spread. Those that are most at risk, the elderly and the health-compromised, need to continue to try to socially isolate as much as possible and be helped to do so by their communities. Clear guidelines describing how access to different levels of healthcare interventions will be prioritised should be established and widely publicised in a transparent way. This will allow South Africans who are at risk to be forewarned and allow them to take extra precautions to reduce their risk of acquiring the virus.


We have a limited number of healthcare workers so prioritising their health is important. Personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers needs to be a national priority throughout the pandemic and we hope the government is actively encouraging local industries who can manufacture these to specification to do so immediately.


Last and by no means least, it may be well served to reassure the public, as there is an ill-founded fear that contraction of Covid-19 is fatal, and the misconception that a lockdown would purge us of Sars-CoV-2.  This present fear has caused many people to discount the future of our country, which is currently at risk.


Sars-CoV-2 is here to stay.  The truth is that people will die, but even more will recover. We will do our best as a country and medical fraternity to treat the infected patients, but we also need to start paying attention to the other illnesses which have continued to progress relatively untreated.


As those who are most at risk once the pandemic takes off in South Africa, we do not request this lightly. We see far greater harm to our healthcare system and our economy by further delaying the inevitable spread of the virus. Ongoing “hard lockdown” will likely cause far greater suffering in the short and long term than the pandemic itself.


Sars-CoV 2 and Covid-19 have given us a moment of pause to reflect on many things. We’ve examined our priorities. We’ve refocused on important issues like healthcare and support of the less privileged.


While we hope that lessons learnt will contribute positively to our new normal, it’s time to hit the play button again. If we start the wheels turning soon, we stand a chance of recovering. If we languish at the bottom of this pit, we will do irreparable damage to our future and those of our children.


Life needs to go on if we are to survive in any respectable form. DM

Signed: Graduates from UCT MBChB 1993 class: this letter’s argument was informed by extensive discussions and sharing of experiences and evidence from our WhatsApp class group with doctors working in South Africa and around the world.


In alphabetical order:

  • Zunaid Barclay, Nephrologist, Cape Town;
  • Ingrid de Beer, General Practitioner, Cape Town;
  • Perrin Hansen, Paediatric Neurologist, Johannesburg;
  • Chris Hofmeyr, ENT Surgeon, Cape Town;
  • Riaz Ismael, General Practitioner, Cape Town;
  • Hilary Johnstone, Clinical Research, George;
  • Ebrahim Kader, Neuro and General Interventionalist, Cape Town;
  • Tracy Kilborn, Paediatric Radiology, Cape Town;
  • Feizal Majiet, General and Occupational Medical Practitioner, Cape Town;
  • Thane Munting, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Cape Town;
  • Simon Pickstone-Taylor, Psychiatrist, Western Cape;
  • Jenny Potts, Specialist Physician and Rheumatologist, Port Elizabeth;
  • Neil Richards, Family Physician, Cape Town;
  • Nandi Siegfried, Public Health Physician, Cape Town;
  • Chantal Simonis, Consultant in Reproductive Medicine, Southampton, UK;
  • Kerstin Simons, Consultant Vascular Surgeon, Tutzing, Germany;
  • Paul Sinclair, Paediatrician, Cape Town;
  • Fred Tyler, Urologist, East London; and
  • Kathleen Van der Westhuizen, General Practitioner, Cape Town


Source: Daily Marverick

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Farmers helping

Our farmers help communities in dire need for food.

Due to the decreasing food supplies & desperate calls for aid

farmers from across KwaZulu – Natal,

stepped in, to provide immediate help.


Farmers helping farmers

Farmers from Ixopo, Highflats, Kokstad, Mount Currie and Mooi Rivier all donated fresh and dry produce,

seedlings and milk to rural communities.

By partnering with local organisations, churches and municipalities, they were able to assist 4500 families.

The Kokstad Community Care Centre, the Kokstad Chamber of Commerce,

local ward Councillors and churches helped identify all the families in need.


There was an overwhelming response from the farmers as they donated 5000 bottles of milk,

cabbage, tomatoes, maize, potatoes, fruit and other fresh and dry produce.

These were all collected, packaged and delivered door to door.


“When we heard that spaza shops were not among the initial list of essential suppliers,

we knew our communities would suffer greatly and that we needed to help,”

said Bruce Alwood, Chairman on the Ixopo Farmers Association Trust.


For more information visit this website: www.kwanalu.co.za

Source: Good Guy Things

Photo Credit: Kwanalu

Doctors walking

Recovery time for Covid-19 virus.

Recovery time for Covid-19


If you contract Covid-19 your recovery time will depend on how sick you become.

Your current health issues, age and gender can increase your risk of becoming extremely ill with Covid-19.


What happens if you only have mild symptoms?

Most people who contracted Covid-19 will only have the main symptoms. These include a cough or a high fever.

But they can also experience body aches, fatigue, headache and a sore throat.

The cough initially is dry, but some people will start coughing up mucus which contains dead lung cells killed by the Covid-19 virus.


The fever normally will settle within one week, but the cough may remain for longer.

It takes two weeks on average to recover according to the World Health Organisation (WHO)

Mild symptoms can be treated with bed rest, plenty of fluids and paracetamol.

What happens if you have more serious symptoms?

 More serious symptoms can occur within 7 to 10 days of being infected.  The change is sudden.

As the lungs get inflamed, breathing becomes more difficult and some people have to be admitted to hospital for oxygen treatment.


According to GP Sarah Jarvis, “The shortness of breath may take some considerable time to improve… the body is getting over scarring and inflammation.”

Recovering can be two to eight weeks.

What happens if you are admitted to ICU?

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) one out of every 20 people will need ICU treatment.

This can include being sedated and placed on a ventilator.


According to Dr. Allison Pittard, Dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, it can take anything between 12 to 18 months to get back to normal after any spell in critical care.

Muscle mass loss occurs if patients are in hospital beds for a long period of time.

Muscles will take time to build up again and some patients will need physiotherapy to walk normally again.


Paul Twose, critical care physiotherapist at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board says there have been reports in

China and Italy of whole-body weakness, shortness of breath after any level of exertion, persistent coughing and irregular breathing, and needing a lot of sleep.

“We do know patients take a considerable period, potentially months, to recover.”


Source: BBC News Health

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Well done SuperSpar Meyersdal.

Please read this amazing letter we received from Cindy Dewey regarding her experience at the SuperSpar Meyersdal in Alberton.



“After always shopping at my regular center and having to stand in queues and actually not being able to find what I need, I decided to go past Meyersdal Spar for a change.

I was pleasantly surprised by the experience I had there.The parking was fairly full so I anticipated waiting in a queue, however once I got to the door I was welcomed immediately by a friendly staff member who sanitized my hands and trolley.

I walked through the fresh fruit and veggie section and was blown away at the selection available and how fresh everything looked.

The shop wasn’t busy inside, everyone was spread apart and things were well set out. The smell of freshly made cinnamon doughnuts caught my attention as I went through the Bakery and was offered a wide variety of yummy treats as well as fresh breads and rolls.

The ready made food all looked so inviting and the ladies behind the counter were so friendly and helpful , going the extra mile to see if I needed anything extra.

Bearing in mind these ladies have to work while we get to stay at home with our families ,they have a very good reason to feel stressed, over worked and unappreciated. However they are full of smiles and willing to offer any extra help I needed.


The managers kept the staff in good spirits and ensured everything in the store was running  quickly and efficiently.


As I walked through the store I overheard two staff members laughing and this again reassured me that the staff at the store were happy, appreciated and cared for making them want to be at work during such hard times.

As I approached the tills I was so impressed at the measures taken in order to help keep staff and customers safe.

Clear protective shields are up in front of each cashier, cashiers and packers all had protective masks on. There were no long queues and everyone was asked to keep their distance as they waited for the person in front of them.

Once the person in front of me had left with their groceries I was asked to wait before unpacking my groceries so the cashier could sanitize the entire counter and card machine. I was then welcomed to come closer and unpack my groceries.

As I was about to leave the staff said goodbye to me with a friendly smile and  told me to keep safe…it was just incredible!

They didn’t have to care about my safety, they don’t know me but they made me feel like we truly are all in this together.

I left the store not feeling exposed or irritated but uplifted and grateful for such a pleasant experience.

I solute the managers and staff of Meyersdal Spar for the work you are doing ,the care you are taking and the amazing atmosphere you have created in your store. It is absolutely outstanding and not something I have experienced at any other store.

“Meyersdal Spar will without a doubt  be my store of choice from here on out.”

Coronavirus Covid-19

President of SAMA provides clear answers on Covid-19

According to Dr. Angelique Coetzee, President of the South African Medical Association, the current Covid-19 situation in South Africa is stable.

The reason why statistics of recorded positive cases and deaths in South Africa is not rising rapidly is because we are in lockdown, but she believes that there will be an explosion of cases after the lockdown.  Between 18 and 20% of people are positive with Covid-19 but they do not show any symptoms.  These individuals will infect others after the lockdown, and this will lead South Africa into another disaster period with another lockdown very likely.

According to Dr. Coetzee, it is of no use trying to test everyone in South Africa.  SAMA still believes that only people that show symptoms must be tested.

SAMA together with the Minister of Health feels the need for every citizen to wear masks is becoming necessary because nobody knows who the 18 to 20% are.  For that reason, it will be better for all to wear masks.

She made it clear, however, that it is of no use to wear surgical masks for healthy people as it will not keep germs from getting to you. It will only keep your germs from spreading to others.  Material masks will work fine if it is washed daily.  If you fiddle with your mask, you must change it frequently as you are contaminating the mask.

It is also not necessary for people to wear gloves, in her opinion.  Properly washing your hands with normal soap and water will work the best.  Using antibacterial soap is completely unnecessary as it is designed for bacteria, not viruses.  Hand sanitizers will only work if the alcohol content is more than 70%.

When asked what her message to the nation is, she said: “Listen to what we are telling you.  If we say stay at home and don’t go to the shops, then don’t do go to the shops and stay at home.  Do not panic.  80% of all infected will be okay and will return to full health.“


COVID-19 rises to 1749

tame TIMES understands that COVID-19 cases has risen to 1749 from Monday evening.

The Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize reported that a 13th person has also died due to the coronavirus.



COVID-19 cases rises to 1686

South Africa now has 1686 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 12 confirmed deaths as a result of the coronavirus, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Monday.

The 31 new cases that were confirmed came from five provinces, KwaZulu-Natal with 11 new cases, Western Cape with 9, Gauteng with 8, the Free State with 2 new cases and 1 from the Eastern Cape.

How is life without alcohol and cigarettes?

Police minister Bheki Cele has reiterated government’s decision not to allow the trading of alcohol and cigarettes, which have both been deemed as non-essential items.
Cele was responding to reports that the Western Cape had relaxed rules on the sale of cigarettes.
There is no province that has a special dispensation out of the regulations that have been signed by the minister,” Cele said.
“If it is not in the national regulations, it is not allowed to happen. For now, cigarettes are not sold. That includes the Western Cape.”

COVID-19 cases is 1 655, with 11 confirmed deaths

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has announced that as of Sunday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is 1 655, with 11 confirmed deaths. The Minister said this is an increase of 70 cases from the previous update issued on Saturday.

Gauteng remains the province with the highest number of cases with 704, followed by the Western Cape with 454 cases and KwaZulu-Natal with 246 confirmed cases. The Free State has 87, Eastern Cape 31, Limpopo 19, Mpumalanga 18, North West 11, Northern Cape 8 and there are 77 unallocated cases.

The Minister said the total number of COVID-19 tests conducted to date is 56 873, an increase of 2 936 from those reported on Saturday.

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Tame Communications (known as tameTIMES) was established in 1997. This long-established popular community title includes the key shopping centres:  Alberton City, Mall...

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