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South African Dental Journal ; 75(9):514-517, 2020.
Article in English | GIM | ID: covidwho-1128186
S Afr Med J ; 110(11): 1119-1123, 2020 10 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-922937


BACKGROUND: On 26 March 2020, the South African (SA) government initiated a 21-day national level 5 lockdown which was subsequently eased off and downgraded to level 4 on 1 May and to level 3 on 1 June. The effect of lockdown measures on SARS-CoV-2 infectivity is currently uncertain. In this article, we analyse the effects of the lockdown measures on the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in one of the epicentres in SA. OBJECTIVES: To measure the effects of lockdown measures introduced in SA on SARS-CoV-2 attack rates (ARs, the percentage of individuals who tested positive in a specified time period) in Gauteng Province during a 4-month period (March - June 2020). METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, we used a comprehensive database from an independent pathology laboratory in Gauteng. We analysed trends of positivity rates of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction tests done during the 4-month period. The ARs are reported over time (unweighted and age-weighted 14-day moving averages) by age groups, gender, and different regions/districts in Gauteng. RESULTS: A total of 162 528 tests were performed at a private laboratory between 5 March and 30 June 2020, of which 20 574 were positive (overall AR 12.7%). These positive tests constituted 44.8% of all positive cases in the province (20 574/45 944). Sixty-two percent of all tests were done in June during lockdown level 3. There was an exponential increase in the AR in June (18.3%) when lockdown was eased to level 3, in comparison with 4.2% (March), 2.2% (April) and 3.3% (May). The increase in June was seen in all the age groups, although it was more pronounced in the 21 - 60 years age groups than the younger (0 - 20 years) and older (>60 years) age groups. The AR was significantly higher in males (13.2%) compared with females (12.1%) (χ2 test, p<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study testify to the rapid increase in ARs resulting from easing of the lockdown regulations, especially to level 3 in June. Of concern is the upward trend in the AR across all age groups, especially <20 years (15.9%), which was not reported in other parts of the world. Population age dynamics should therefore be considered when taking future decisions about lockdown regulations.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology , Young Adult
Non-conventional in 0 | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-664281


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), originating in Wuhan, China in December 2019 has become a pandemic affecting numerous countries worldwide, with over 1353 positive cases and 4 deaths confirmed in South Africa thus far. Dental practitioners are at the forefront of this outbreak through direct and contact transmission via face-to-face communication and through the generation of significant amounts of droplets and aerosols during routine dental procedures, posing potential risks of infection transmission. There are no guidelines for South African dental practitioners to follow in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper provides consolidated evidence and best practice on how to prevent and minimise the spread of infection within the dental setting through the use of a flowchart. The level of evidence provided is based on global recommendations and experience. We conclude that unless dental professionals stick to stringent infection control practices, they are likely to contribute to the spread of the COVID-19. We recommend that during this outbreak, dental professionals consider scaling down on their normal routine, and protect themselves and patients. Focus should be on the management of pain, sepsis and trauma. The epidemic will pass, and dental professionals should outlast the scourge.