How to join South Africa’s WhatsApp COVID-19 support group

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First things first, as a precaution. If you feel unwell, or suspect you may have caught the elusive COVID-19, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has established a hotline. Don’t go to the doctor, you nitwit, you’ll infect everyone. 

This was set up after the minister of health confirmed 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday afternoon. Another 13 cases were confirmed on Sunday morning — we’re guessing because of the hotline. You can call the NICD on 0800 029 999 if you suspect any ‘coronactivity’ amongst you, your family or your friends. 

If you’re more technologically inclined (ahem, duh) you can add the NICD on WhatsApp as a contact, and use it to learn more about the virus and report anything COVID-19-related. All you have to do is add this number to your phone: 0600 123 456. And then send the contact a message on WhatsApp saying ‘Hi’. Alternatively, click on this link to add it automatically: https://wa.me/27600123456?text=Hi

“Find out everything you need to know on #COVID19 on our wats app portal and website including the latest information on self quarantine,” tweeted Dr Zweli Mkhize, the minister of health.

Last we checked, there were 62 cases of COVID-19 in South Africa, and it’s been that way for almost 24 hours. Let’s hope the early precautions keep the numbers down and the people of SA healthy. 

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