- Since the coronavirus pandemic reached South Africa specialised terms have been thrown around
- Self-quarantine, self-isolation and social distancing have been called for by the government
- Briefly.co.za explores what these terms actually mean ahead of the lockdown
Self-quarantine, self-isolation and social distancing are terms that you have likely heard being used in reference to the coronavirus pandemic.
With the national lockdown on Thursday evening drawing closer these terms are about to become more common and carry meanings of vital importance during the pandemic.
Briefly.co.za breaks it down to explain the differences and when each term will be relevant to citizens:
Self-isolation is for citizens who think they may have the virus or have tested positive for the virus. This means that you are already showing symptoms and you are now being isolated from healthy people to avoid infecting them. This is common in homes with multiple people. During self-isolation, you must wear a mask, keep a distance of 1.5m between yourself and your family members and try to stay in a separate room if possible.
Self-quarantine is for people who have been exposed to the virus and don't have symptoms. During this time you should be taking your temperature, ensuring you don't develop symptoms and stay away from public places for 14 days. Self-quarantine does not mean you have symptoms of the virus, but it is of vital importance to avoid coming into contact with other people.
Social distancing is for people who have not been exposed to the virus. This includes consciously increasing the physical space between yourself and others to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. While social distancing, keep a 1-metre distance between yourself and anyone who coughs or sneezes. When a person coughs or sneezes, they spray small droplets which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you risk contracting the virus by coming into contact with the droplets.
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