Rand Aid Association reacted swiftly to the news that a national state of disaster had been declared as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in South Africa.
The day after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement, measures already implemented were strengthened to protect the residents and staff of Rand Aid’s retirement villages, care centres and substance abuse treatment centre from infection – including restricting non-essential visitor access.
“As older persons face increased risks of complications from COVID-19, it was critical for Rand Aid to respond with urgency and the seriousness required,” says Rand Aid CEO Peter Quinn.
“Frailty, underlying medical conditions and comorbidity – which is the presence of more than one disorder in the same person, increase the risks of older persons getting critically ill from the virus,” says Dr Carmella Mielke, who practises at Rand Aid’s Elphin Lodge Complex.
“Anyone over 65 is considered high risk by the World Health Organisation,” she adds.
“It is for these reasons that we are taking the pandemic very seriously. While some of the measures we have implemented may be restrictive and inconvenient, they are very necessary if we are to minimise the impact of the virus on the Rand Aid community,” says Peter.
Measures will be assessed on a weekly basis and adapted based on medical advice.