Stay informed! Visit the SA Department of Health's website for COVID-19 updates: www.sacoronavirus.co.za.
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How to protect yourself from viruses: what to use (and what to avoid)

The do’s and don’ts of coronavirus protection.

Updated

Which products are worth using and what things should you avoid doing? It’s a confusing time in the country, but our list of do’s and don’ts will give you the answers you seek on how to protect yourself from the coronavirus.

What to do against coronavirus

  • Do wash your hands with soap and water. Soap is the perfect opponent to busting germs, and it has the power to remove viral particles that have been transmitted from surfaces. Use regular soap and water to wash your hands for 20 seconds, and use a soap and water solution to clean surfaces.
  • Do use hand sanitiser of at least 60 per cent alcohol if soap isn’t available. For many of us, hand gels were not always top of mind before the coronavirus pandemic. Can hand sanitiser kill viruses? Although soap and water should be the first option, hand sanitiser is the next best thing as an essential part of preventing coronavirus. Its high level of alcohol is an effective ingredient in killing bacteria and viruses.
  • Do stay at home if there are no emergencies. The country is currently on a lockdown where we are forbidden to roam the streets and visit friends and family until we can lower the spread of the virus. Although it may be tempting to venture out, only leave the house when it is absolutely necessary, for instance, going to a doctor, buying medication at a chemist or shopping for groceries. This especially applies to those who have an underlying medical condition, are pregnant, over 70, or have a compromised immune system. If you fall within any of these high-risk categories, ask other family members to pick up your prescriptions, do your shopping, or run any errands for you.
  • Do use a mask if you are sick or caring for someone who is. A mask gives you protection against someone with (or who is suspected of having) the coronavirus. If you use a mask, make sure you know how to use a mask properly.
  • Do adhere to social distancing. President Cyril Ramaphosa urged South Africans to cut down on interactions with others to inhibit the spread of the coronavirus. This includes following the lockdown protocol, working from home where possible, not having physical contact with anyone who has symptoms of the virus, and avoiding any non-essential use of public transport.

What to avoid doing

  • Don’t shake hands. Germs are easily transmitted when you touch contaminated surfaces, so refrain from shaking hands or giving hugs to anyone. Instead, nod or wave. With the lockdown forcing us to self-isolate, you probably won’t have to worry about shaking hands with anyone for now.
  • Don’t cough into the air or your hands. Doing so can spread viral droplets which is exactly how the coronavirus is spread. Instead, sneeze and cough in the crook of your elbow or use a tissue (and immediately throw it away).
  • Don’t reuse unwashed clothes. It may be tempting to throw on those jeans you’ve already worn out; chances are they may have picked up germs along the way. Although it may not necessarily mean they’re harbouring the coronavirus, exercise caution and put them in the wash. And if you’ve been in contact with a person you know or suppose might have the coronavirus, wash everything immediately.
  • Don’t use harsh cleaning products, especially when cleaning stainless steel or other delicate appliances. When used in moderation, bleach-based products are good to go. But too strong a solution will corrode metal, strip paint, and irritate the skin.  Industrial cleaning products commonly contain harsh chemicals such as pesticides. Rather use disinfectant wipes,  sprays, or a solution of soap and water.
  • Don’t leave the house if you have coronavirus symptoms. This is a vital part of trying to contain the virus and prevent it from spreading. It is illegal to do so. If you display symptoms, you must stay indoors, self-isolate and follow government guidelines.
  • As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, new information, facts, advice and statistics are available daily. Cleanipedia South Africa aims to give you the most valuable tips and guidance on how to protect yourself and your family from the coronavirus and keep you healthy. We also urge you to keep updated and informed as much as possible on the latest events so that you can assist in vital coronavirus protection for you, your loved ones and your community.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, new information, facts, advice and statistics are available daily. Cleanipedia South Africa aims to give you the most valuable tips and guidance on how to protect yourself and your family from the coronavirus and keep you healthy. We also urge you to keep updated and informed as much as possible on the latest events so that you can assist in vital coronavirus protection for you, your loved ones and your community.

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Originally published