Understanding Covid-19 terms

A hospital guard carrying a hand sanitizer.

Asked to define what self-quarantine is, Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital medical specialist Dr Clint Hendrikse said it should be practised by patients who may have had contact with someone who travelled, or who may themselves have travelled but do not have symptoms and have not tested positive for Covid-19.

It is a preventative measure and you are advised to stay at home.

These people are monitored daily by means of a symptom checking tool, which is a questionnaire, the patient answers via daily phone calls with a health practitioner.

Isolation means you have tested positive for the virus, but you are healthy enough to stay at home.

These patients are given a thermometer and the questionnaire.

Dr Hendrikse said this is predicted to happen in approximately 85% of cases, while the remaining 15% might need hospitalisation.

He said one would be considered high risk if you have travelled or had contact with a Covid-19 positive person and you have symptoms.

Low risk patients are people who have had secondary contact.

Dr Hendrikse said screening was crucial to determine whether patients required testing but the main boxes to tick were whether patients have travelled; been in contact with a Covid-19 patient; and have symptoms.