Frequently Asked Questions
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.
The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).
At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings become available.
To prevent infection and to slow transmission of COVID-19, do the following:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.
- Maintain at least 1 metre distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
- Stay home if you feel unwell.
- Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
- Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people
COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.
Most common symptoms:
- dry cough.
Less common symptoms:
- aches and pains.
- sore throat.
- loss of taste or smell.
- a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes.
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
- chest pain or pressure.
- loss of speech or movement.
Seek immediate medical attention if you have serious symptoms. Always call before visiting your doctor or health facility.
People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should manage their symptoms at home.
On average it takes 5–6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however it can take up to 14 days.
You must still wear a mask. The government requires that people wear a mask in public places. You still need to continue practicing public health measures such as physical distancing >1 meter, good hand hygiene, and consistent and proper wearing of a mask whenever you are out.
Yes, a negative result does not imply you will never get the virus. Therefore, please continue practice physical distancing >1 meter, good hand hygiene, and consistent and proper wearing of a mask whenever you are out.
Many other diseases can present with symptoms that are similar to COVID-19. Please visit your healthcare provider or nearest clinic so that you are investigated for other diseases. However, whenever possible call the clinic or healthcare provider’s office to make an appointment. It is also possible that you may have to be tested for COVID-19 again as there is a small possibility that your first test did not detect your infection with COVID-19.
Unless you have had contact with a confirmed COVID 19 person, have a recent travel history outside the country or from a region defined as have current active wide spread community transmission, as advised by the Ministry of Health and Social Services from time to time -then there is no need to quarantine. However, if you are still experiencing symptoms or are sick, please stay at home as per the recommendations of your healthcare provider.
Please note. If you are not sure if you need to quarantine, you can phone the call centre at 0800 100 100
Yes provided you are not having any symptoms or feeling sick, in which case you need to go see your healthcare provider or nearest clinic..
No. A medical person will not call you to discuss your negative result. Healthcare providers will focus their attention on assisting those whose COVID-19 results come out positive. However, should you wish to discuss the negative results with a healthcare provider, please phone the call centre at 0800 100 100, for assistance.
If you were tested in Windhoek-you may collect a printout of your COVID-19 results at the National Health Training Centre. If you are outside Windhoek-you may collect your results from your health care provider or the health facility that collected your COVID-19 specimen.