Government To Roll Out Massive Covid-19 Testing Programme

Vision Tactical – 

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the government will roll out an extensive field screening programme to get South Africans tested for the coronavirus.

The president has also confirmed that three South Africans have died from the novel coronavirus to date. 
 
Ramaphosa announced the screening programme on Monday night. He said the programme will see 10 000 field workers visit people’s homes to test for the virus in urban and rural areas. 

Johannesburg Residents Give Essential Service Providers A Standing Ovation During COVID-19 Lockdown

Vision Tactical – 

Residents of various suburbs in  Johannesburg clapped and cheered to show their appreciation for all essential service personnel working during the COVID-19 pandemic over the weekend.

Around the world, people have been encouraged to show their gratitude towards for health-care workers and other essential service providers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Director of Vision Tactical Yaseen Theba says that the experience was incredible and up-lifting.

“There seems to be more and more people every night. People swinging open their windows and clapping and leaning out. People on balconies, it’s just a wonderful response from the whole community.”

Theba adds that the support from residents inspires essential service personnel, including Doctors, Nurses, emergency service officers and law enforcement officials to continue the work they are doing, during a very tough period.

He adds that the next few weeks are vital in ensuring efforts to flatten the curve yields positive results.

“Our units that are deployed 24/7 are engaging in regular Operational COVID-19 Lockdown briefings and will provide response support to SAPS, JMPD and the SANDF. Our Medical partners ER24 is also on standby with us.”

Norwood Resident, Waseem Koor says that the residents of Algernon Road in Norwood will be standing at their gates every night at 20:00 for the next 20 days to clap and cheer for all essential workers.

“Docs, Nurses, SAPS, Army, food and medicine drivers, shop assistants and ALL frontline workers risking their own lives for all of us. You, VTAC are of course one of our most important.”

The three week lockdown will be entering its fourth day from Monday, how we confront this national emergency in the coming weeks will make all the difference between life and death for many South Africans.

City of Joburg Shuts All Public Spaces Until Further Notice

Vision Tactical – 

The City of Johannesburg has released a statement informing Joburg residents that public spaces under their jurisdiction will be closed until further notice to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Spokesperson of City Parks, Jenny Moodley informed councillors in the city of the closure of all it’s parks with immediate effect, to contain the spread of the virus – this includes Johannesburg Zoo.

The City of Joburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo said in a statement that Joburg Theatre, Soweto Theatre, and Roodepoort Theatre have been directed to postpone all shows and activities. Public swimming pools, recreational and civic centres, stadiums and libraries will also be closed until further notice.

Elderly people will be assisted as the City will be deploying clinical teams to also support vulnerable persons throughout the City. Makhubo said, “This includes assisting the tracking and tracing effort of those who have potentially been exposed to persons confirmed as infected with the virus.”

Makhubo said the City has strongly encouraged bars, restaurants, nightclubs, taverns, cinemas and areas of public entertainment to close their operations or limit their services. The government announced late yesterday (18 March) that restaurants, taverns, bars and clubs must accommodate no more than 50 persons at any time, open at 9am and close at 6pm.

The City’s interventions include scaling down Metrobus and Rea Vaya bus services in accordance with one person per two-seater and two people per three-seater bench. All buses will be sanitised once every 24 hours and washed twice a day. The mayor added that commuters will be provided sanitisers on buses, at ticket offices and depots.

Cash payments for trips have been suspended, commuters have been encouraged to get tags which will be issued for free during this period, Makhubo added.

[Adapted from Rosebank Killarney Gazette]

Covid-19 Hotline And Whatsapp Helpline Flooded With Calls, Messages

Vision Tactical – 

The national health department’s WhatsApp-based helpline, Covid-19 Connect, has engaged with more than 1.5-million people.

The helpline, the department said, was launched at the weekend to deliver “accurate, up-to-date information to South African citizens at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

“In just a few days, the service has already engaged more than 1.5-million South Africans and has served more than 15-million messages,” the department said.

Covid-19 Connect was created in a week by Praekelt.Org, using Turn.io technology to deliver automated informational responses providing answers to the most frequently asked questions about Covid-19 and the coronavirus.

“Covid-19 Connect, endorsed by the national department of health and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), is already playing an important role in supporting the department of health’s national response. The service is enabling the South African government to have direct communication with the public, empowering individuals with the right information and alleviating pressure on the national call centre,” said the department.

Using up-to-the-minute information from the World Health Organisation (WHO), coupled with local news updates and information on prevention, symptoms, treatment, risks, travelling and testing, the app is helping to mitigate against misinformation that can distract from critical health prevention, the department said.

“The national department of health has previously pioneered the use of WhatsApp to take its MomConnect maternal health programme to scale … Our experience on this, and other large scale health initiatives worldwide, has enabled us to rapidly implement Covid-19 Connect,” said Debbie Rogers, managing director of Praekelt.org

“President Cyril Ramaphosa asked that we act together, act now and act decisively – the national department of health, the teams from WhatsApp and WHO. And our own teams at Praekelt.org and Turn.io have done exactly this over the past few days while developing Covid-19 Connect,” said Gustav Praekelt, founder of Praekelt.org and co-founder of Turn.io.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 public hotline has recorded high call volumes – 324,062 to date.

“As such, we have added two additional hotline numbers to capacitate and upscale timeous response of inquiries for the public and doctors. Clinicians can now contact the new clinicians’ hotline number on 0800 11 1131 for doctors only, and in addition to 0800 029 999 the public can also contact the public hotline number on 0800 111 132. Please note that all lines operate 24 hours a day,” said the NICD in a statement.

The institute said it had also recorded a high number of prank calls.

“We wish to urge the public to desist from such behaviour, as it takes away resources from those who need them,” said the NICD.

SCAM ALERT | No Covid-19 Home Screenings, As Criminals Pose As Officials

Vision Tactical – 

Private security company Vision Tactical has urged residents to be wary of possible COVID-19 scams being used by criminals.

Reports emerged over the past few days from the public on social media, warning fellow South African’s of the methods being used by suspicious individuals to gain entry in to homes and properties, where the alleged criminals are claiming to be health professionals.

Director of Vision Tactical, Yaseen Theba says criminals will use any means necessary and available to them to prey on vulnerable residents during this difficult period.

“As a private security company, we urge members of the public to be vigilant of criminals pretending to be officials under the guise of conducting COVID-19 home screenings.”

Theba adds that should residents should take all precautions if they find themselves in a situation where suspicious individuals are claiming to be health professionals to do screening for the coronavirus.

“Do not allow them onto your property or inside your business premises for your own safety, but please alert SAPS and Vision Tactical’s Control room immediately.”

Contact Vision Tactical for more information: comms@visiontactical.co.za, 074 772 333 3.

 

Vision Tactical Scoops CCIN Security Company of the Year Award

Vision Tactical –

Private Security company Vision Tactical was awarded the Community Crime Intelligence Network’s Security Company of the Year Award at the annual CCIN Convention.

The gathering took place at the South African National Museum of Military History in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The CCIN’s Dr Reza Patel thanked Vision Tactical for its endless and sterling contributions toward the collective efforts of crime fighting & community development.

“We value & appreciate your contributions & participation, the CCIN proves that there’s always gains in working together.”

Director of Vision Tactical Yaseen Theba says that the entire team is honored to have received the award, but the fight against crime needs more partnerships & collaboration.

“Members of the CCIN are moving in the right direction. JMPD Chief David Tembe’s commitment to stronger relationships to create a multifaceted approach is already showing positive results in the City of Joburg.”

 

Three Suspects Apprehended On Houghton Drive

Vision Tactical –

Understand the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) And Prevent Infections

Vision Tactical –

Looking back, the fast-spreading virus was first detected in Wuhan City, in the Hubei Province of China in December 2019. It has since spread to multiple countries, with Egypt recording the first case on the African continent on Valentine’s Day (the case tested negative for COVID-19 and underwent a 14-day observation period until 27 February 2020). Algeria’s health ministry confirmed a COVID-19 case on 25 February 2020. And, Nigeria’s health ministry confirmed their first case on 28 February 2020. Only a day earlier the South African Presidency announced that 132 South Africans, currently living under lockdown, would be evacuated from Wuhan City. Though none of them were diagnosed with or had symptoms of COVID-19, they would be placed in quarantine for 21 days on arrival in South Africa as a precautionary measure.

What makes COVID-19 so tricky to deal with?

“There is limited information available about its clinical features and the severity of disease it causes,” says Dr Noluthando Nematswerani, Discovery Health’s Head of the Centre for Clinical Excellence. “Recent data shows that more than 80% of people infected with COVID-19 have mild disease and recover. In about 5% of cases patients have critical disease and in 2% of cases the virus causes a fatal respiratory illness. The risk of death increases the older a person is. While, scientists scramble to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, international efforts are concentrated on early detection and quarantining of infected patients.”

How well do you understand the Novel Coronavirus ?

COVID-19 spreads very quickly through:

  • the air, after coughing or sneezing – people could catch COVID-19 if they are standing within one meter of a person who has the illness, by breathing in droplets coughed out or exhaled by the ill person
  • close personal contact, such as when shaking hands or touching others
  • touching an object or surface on which the virus is found (after an ill person coughs or exhales close to these objects or surfaces such as desks, tables or telephones), then – before washing the hands – touching the mouth, nose, or eyes
  • rarely, fecal contamination

People who contract the Novel Coronavirus may take anywhere from one to 14 days to develop symptoms. There is no medication available to combat the virus during the asymptomatic phase. Symptoms of 2019 Novel Coronavirus infection include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Doctors can only treat the symptoms of COVID-19 as they present. No specific therapy has been shown to be effective against the virus itself.

Novel Coronavirus and this year’s Influenza virus – a double whammy threat?

“Every South African has a fundamental role to play in curbing the spread of Novel Coronavirus,” says Dr Nematswerani. “We also all have the power to protect ourselves and each other against infection. We must, as a nation, be focussed on one approach – prevention is better than cure.”

Why?  “COVID-19 has spread at an unprecedented rate, and is potentially fatal. Another potentially fatal virus is headed to the Southern Hemisphere. We are a month away from the start of this year’s Influenza (flu) virus season, which will bring new viral strains to our country. So, South Africans could simultaneously be hit with a double viral shockwave this year,” explains Dr Nematswerani.

Why is your annual flu vaccine more important than ever before?

Between late December 2019 and the end of February 2020 there were almost 76000 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection across the world, with almost 300 deaths recorded as a result of the fatal respiratory disease that the that is COVID-19 in its most serious form. “These figures are worrying,” says Dr Nematswerani. “Equally worrying is that every year, up to 650 000 people die of respiratory disease caused by the flu virus.”

Let’s put that into perspective. “Most large airplanes carry around 550 passengers. That equates to all the people on 1181 flights dying of flu – each year. The Novel Coronavirus caused 2000 deaths and 76 000 infections within its first two months of outbreak. That’s equivalent to 139 flights filled with infected people.”

Many of these deaths could have been prevented. “Both are viral illnesses so prevention methods are similar and very simple and cost-effective to implement. For starters, it’s more important than ever that people have their 2020 flu vaccine at the start of the flu season, or as soon as possible thereafter.”

  • Find out all you need to know about the flu vaccine here.

Antibiotics cannot help us against viruses

“It’s critical that we all understand that antibiotics do not work against Novel Coronavirus or the flu (influenza virus),” adds Dr Nematswerani. “They only work on bacterial infections, so antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment in the case of these these illnesses.”

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Ep 5

Part 2

Spreading a prevention message stops the spread of viruses

The following eight simple, powerful habits, provide protection against coronaviruses, flu viruses and many other pathogens that are common in South Africa and abroad.

  1. Wash your hands often, especially after direct contact with people who are ill, or after being in environments where sick people are cared for, like hospitals. Remember to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds – even if they are not visibly dirty.
    • Read all about the right way to wash your hands here.
  2. Avoid close contact with people who have acute respiratory tract infections
  3. Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  4. Practice cough etiquette – when you cough, maintain your distance from others. Cover your mouth and nose with clothing, or with a flexed elbow or a tissue (discard it immediately) and wash your hands immediately afterwards
  5. Avoid spitting in public
  6. Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces
  7. Avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care to avoid cross-contamination with other uncooked foods. Use different cutting boards and knives for raw meat and other foods. Wash your hands between handling raw food – especially meat – and any other food.
  8. Do not eat the meat that comes from animals that have died of diseases

“If you feel ill and have any of the symptoms of infection with COVID-19 you must seek medical care early and share your previous travel history with your healthcare provider,” says Dr Nematswerani.

You will need to be tested for the Novel Coronavirus if you have:

  • a severe acute respiratory illness, with fever or history of fever and cough with pneumonia
  • or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (based on clinical/X-ray findings) that requires you to be admitted to hospital
  • and any of the following:
    • Have a documented travel history to Wuhan, Hubei Province China within 14 days before symptom onset; or
    • Have had close physical contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19 while he/she is symptomatic
    • Are a healthcare worker who was exposed to patients with severe acute respiratory infections (in the absence of any other reason for your symptoms)

How should you stay healthy while travelling?

  • Frequently clean your hands with soap and wateror alcohol-based hand rub
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands while travelling, especially when using public transport
  • If you choose to wear a face mask be sure to cover your mouth and nose and avoid touching the mask once it’s on. The WHO explains when and how to use medical masks
  • Immediately discard single-used masks after each use and wash your hands after removing the mask
  • Avoid close contact with people suffering from fever and cough
  • Eat only well-cooked food
  • Avoid contact with sick animals
  • It’s important to avoid travel if you have a fever and cough. If you become sick while travelling on an airplane or using public transport, inform the personnel and seek medical care early. When you seek medical attention remember to share your travel history with your healthcare provider
  • Avoid markets where live animals are sold. If you do visit animal markets in areas currently experiencing cases of Novel Coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals. Avoid contract with stray animals, waste and fluids in roads and markets.

Dr Nematswerani adds, “Vaccines usually take years to develop. While there is a chance that medical and technological innovations could cut that time down when it comes to a vaccine against COVID-19, that will not help to fight the current outbreak. A vaccine will be essential if the virus becomes established.”

Prevent the spread of social stigma around COVID-19

For most people COVID-19 is a disease that can be overcome! What is important is that we talk positively and emphasise the effectiveness of prevention and treatment measures. We must encourage the sharing of truth and facts and prevent the spread of misinformation that stigmatises people who acquire COVID-19. A stigma around this illness will have negative impact as it can:

  • Cause people to hide their illness to avoid discrimination
  • Prevent people from seeking healthcare immediately if symptoms arise
  • Discourage people from adopting healthy behaviours that prevent the spread of COVID-19

Protocols Put In Place By Vision Tactical & ER24 As First Suspected Coronavirus Case Tests Positive

Vision Tactical –

The first case of coronavirus in South Africa has been confirmed.

A 38-year-old man has tested positive for the (COVID-19) virus in KwaZulu-Natal.

The man recently travelled to Italy and has been in self-isolation since.

Vision Tactical have prepared accordingly to assist with any suspected cases of Coronavirus.

Supervisors and Tactical officers have been briefed and equipped with necessary precautionary equipment and apparatus to safely manage any suspected cases.

According to our medical patterns ER24, “in strict accordance with NICD and National Department of Health protocols, Mediclinic has implemented the necessary measures to manage any patients presenting with symptoms and to prevent the potential transmission of the virus in our facilities.”

“While the current health risk to the general South African public is low, based on current information, we urge the public to take the necessary precautions when travelling to affected areas. We also encourage anyone experiencing signs and symptoms of flu or who thinks that they may have been exposed to the virus to contact their healthcare provider.”

Contact our offices for any further information.

Email: info@visiontactical.co.za

Emergency Control: 084 222 222 2