COVID-19 Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update

As of 23 November 2020:

(Source : Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU))


In light of the global developments regarding the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, MANCOSA is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak very closely and continues to follow the guidance from the South African Health Ministry and other National directives. 

We have reviewed the situation and possible impact on our staff and students and have undertaken a number of steps to create awareness and ensure adequate hygiene practices are in place to protect the welfare of our most important assets, our students and staff.

It is important to note that thus far there are no reported cases of the coronavirus at MANCOSA including students, faculty and staff.


What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found in both animals and humans. Some infect people and are known to cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Novel coronavirus 2019, a respiratory illness, is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. It was reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

How does it spread?

The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or just breathes out. 

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. Other people catch COVID-19 if they are close to that person and breathe in those droplets. In addition, these droplets can land on objects and surface around the person. 

What are the symptoms and how dangerous is it?

As with other respiratory illnesses, Novel coronavirus 2019 can cause symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever and feeling sluggish. It can lead to pneumonia and/or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as, diabetes and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. There is currently no vaccine available to protect against coronavirus.

How long does it take for symptoms to show?

The incubation period (length of time it can take before symptoms become evident) can be anything up to 14 days.

What are the steps I can take to reduce my exposure?

As a reminder, the coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 1-2m
  • Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
As the virus spreads through the world, there will be other cases in our community. Here’s what you can do to reduce the risk to yourself, your family and our campus community

  1. Wash your hands well and frequently with soap and water or an alcohol based hand rub
  2. Substitute a smile for a handshake, don’t share eating utensils or cups
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and/or mouth with dirty hands
  4. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  5. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash
  6. Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  7. Stay home when you are sick
  8. Take care of your emotional health, get sleep, unplug from the news, meditate, exercise and eat well – these all support your body’s immune system.
Do not travel if you are feeling unwell. If you show symptoms of coronavirus at arrival airports you may well be refused entry or quarantined and you will probably need to follow in-country procedures, where local health services may become strained. It may also prove difficult to get you home until tests confirm that you do not have coronavirus and symptoms have subsided or been treated locally.

What actions should I take if I live or have travelled to an area which has had reported cases and I develop coronavirus like symptoms?

If you are feeling unwell and showing coronavirus type symptoms you should isolate yourself and seek medical attention/advice.

Who is at risk for COVID-19?

At the moment, people who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or who have been travelling in parts of the world where the virus is actively spreading are most at risk of COVID-19.

What travel precautions should be taken?

If you intend to travel out of South Africa, it is essential that you check the NICD (National Institute for Communicable Diseases) website for the updated list of countries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak before booking any flights.

What if I have recently returned to South Africa from an affected country or region?

If you have recently returned from an area where there is thought to be active spread of the disease in the community you should immediately stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu. You should follow this advice even if you do not feel unwell in any way.

Where else can I get information and advice about COVID-19?

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) is providing updates about COVID-19 ( which contains information on how to deal with the coronavirus. Members of the public can also contact the NICD on a toll free hotline 0800 029 999 (Mon-Fri 8am-4pm) should they be concerned about COVID-19. For information about the Global updates around the COVID-19 outbreak can also be found on the World Health Organization website (