HPCSA guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The unfolding COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented occurrence requiring a systematic coordinated response. The National Department of Health and National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) have developed clinical guidelines for health workers, frequently asked questions, a quick reference infographic and information on communicable diseases to assist practitioners.

The HPCSA recognises practitioner concerns about their own health and those under their care and recommends following the NICD directives when dealing with COVID-19.

Healthcare practitioners are encouraged to work with colleagues and patients to use professional judgement to assess risk and to deliver safe care informed by the appropriate guidance and the adherence to the professional standards and the codes of conduct for their profession.

Moreover, the HPCSA urges practitioners to also take care of their own health and to seek help when needed.

Practitioners will be kept abreast of further developments through regular updates.

Coronavirus symptoms

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death (WHO).

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has issued a resource on Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that can be accessed here.

Note for Clinicians

The NCID states that in their efforts to expand and streamline testing for COVID-19, doctors do not need to contact the NICD for approval as long as they apply the case definition before testing. The NICD will test the submitted samples as long as the required supporting documents accompany the sample (specimen submission form and PUI form) which is available on the NICD website.

Updates

For live updates on COVID-19 follow the NCID on Twitter or visit their web page.

Contact

The Public Hotline:

Healthcare professionals:

  • Clinician Hotline provides information on COVID19 and support for healthcare providers. The Clinician Hotline is 0800 11 1131, operating 24 hrs.
  • Medical/clinical related queries regarding the Coronavirus can contact the NICD Hotline +27 82 883 9920.
  • Laboratory-related queries call the Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis 011 555 0315/7/8 or 011 555 0488).
  • CDC Coordinators
    • Eastern Cape: Mr T Dlamini 083 378 0189 and Ms N Mgobo 078 326 1115
    • Free State Ms B Nyokong 083 452 8954 and Ms D Baleni 083 757 8217
    • Gauteng Dr C Asomugha 082 330 1490 and Ms C Kasebilwe 083 490 8165
    • KwaZulu-Natal Ms P Govender 071 609 2505
    • Limpopo Ms MF Ngobeni 079 491 1909
    • Mpumalanga Mr M Zwane 082 229 8893 / 079 210 6549
    • Northern Cape Ms G Hottie 072 391 3345
    • North West Ms C Lebeko 082 421 7985
    • Western Cape Ms C Lawrence 083 488 0777