Recommended isolation period for Covid-19 patients in SA now 10 days

18 July 2020 - 10:44
By Naledi Shange
The health ministry on Friday announced that the recommended isolation period for Covid-19 patients has been reduced from 14 days to 10 days.
Image: Picture: 123RF/ALEKSANDRA SUZI The health ministry on Friday announced that the recommended isolation period for Covid-19 patients has been reduced from 14 days to 10 days.

People who have tested positive for Covid-19 will no longer be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Friday evening that the isolation period had been reduced to 10 days.

“Tonight we wish to inform South Africans that the recommended isolation period for patients with confirmed Covid-19 infections is being reduced from 14 days to 10 days,” he said during a virtual briefing.

“This recommendation is based on the evidence that most patients with mild Covid-19 infections continue to shed the virus from their upper airways for approximately seven to 12 days,” said Mkhize.

“Furthermore, the presence of the virus when testing does not necessarily imply infectiousness.”

Mkhize said in mild cases, virus cultures were generally only positive for eight to nine days after the onset of symptoms.

The duration of infectiousness in patients who had a more severe infection, usually those needing hospital admission, may be a bit longer.

The reviewed period of isolation will also apply to health care workers and is being implemented with immediate effect.