Protecting yourself from the COVID-19

In March 2020 the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a global pandemic. Since then, the coronavirus has swept the globe, infecting millions of people. With increasing cases of the disease in South Africa, concerns continue to grow.  For statistics on COVID-19 spread in South Africa and related government information, click here. View the latest global dashboard here.


0860 100 545 or 011 707 8400


0861 113 676

Chronic Medication:

0861 700 600 Option 3

Claim submission:

Emergency number:

082 911

Stress Line


0861 700 600 (choose option 4)

Dedicated COVID-19 Information channels

Webchat: (8h00-15h00 Weekdays):

Frequently asked Questions

How is COVID-19 diagnosed?

COVID-19 is diagnosed by a laboratory test, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) molecular test, on a respiratory tract sample (e.g. sample from nose, throat or chest). For specific guidance on sample collection and transport please visit the NICD’s website:

What must I do if I believe that I have been exposed to the coronavirus?

If you believe that you have been exposed to the coronavirus or you are displaying symptoms of fever, tight chest, coughing, sore throat, muscle aches or other flu-like symptoms, please avoid contact with other people and contact your healthcare practitioner telephonically to ask how to be tested.

Your healthcare practitioner will advise you what to do next to get the care that you need.

Click here to see the correct process to follow.

If you cannot access your healthcare practitioner telephonically, contact the Public Hotline 0800 029 999, for further instructions.

Please be aware and respect each facilities’ prevention protection measures.  Click here to read about the Netcare Group’s prevention measures and what you should do when visiting their facilities.

Who is at higher risk of COVID-19 infection?

While anyone can get COVID-19, some groups of people are at more at risk than others and are most vulnerable to getting very sick from the virus. These include:

  • Older persons
  • People with a weakened immune system, including pregnant women
  • People with underlying chronic conditions like:
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Respiratory illnesses
    • Kidney disease
    • Diabetes
    • Cancer
    • HIV
How can high-risk people protect themselves?
  • Avoid crowds and contact with sick people
  • Continue taking your prescribed chronic medication
  • Ensure that you obtain your chronic medication and refill script in time to minimise treatment interruptions
  • Get you flu vaccine, as soon as it becomes available
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
  • Contact your healthcare provider telephonically before visiting their rooms
  • Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider
  • Maintain a healthy immune system by eating fruit, vegetables and other foods with high nutritional value
  • Mask up when in public places to protect yourself
  • Inform your Manager at work that you are considered a high risk individual so that extra care and precautions can be considered
  • Be extra vigilant and follow the basic hygiene measures.
What is the international criteria that needs to be met for someone to be tested?

The current criteria is as follows:

The person has been in contact with a COVID-19 positive patient and the person is displaying symptoms of fever, tight chest and a sore throat, not attributable to any other disease.


The person has travelled to a COVID-19 high-risk area within 14 days prior to symptom onset and the person is displaying symptoms of fever, tight chest and a sore throat, not attributable to any other disease.


The person has acute severe respiratory infection, needs to be hospitalised and symptoms cannot be attributed to any other disease.

To see the appropriate testing guide for COVID-19, click here.

Testing at private laboratories

To ensure that the available capacity for testing is used in the most optimal way and that the patients who are at risk receive the clinical care that they need, only patients in the below categories will be tested in South African private laboratories, on referral by a health care professional:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Hospital in-patients
  • Pre-admission testing
  • Symptomatic outpatients
  • High risk patients with co-morbidities

Until further notice, no testing will be offered to the following patients:

  • COVID positive patients requesting retest after completion of the prescribed period of self-isolation
  • Asymptomatic out-patients and low risk contacts
  • Self-referred patients
  • Return to work screening for non-healthcare workers
  • Workplace prevalence screening
Will CAMAF pay for tests and treatment?

The current practice is as follows: (this is subject to change as national developments occur)

CAMAF will pay for the tests from benefits available if not a ‘person under investigation’ (PUI) and is allowed by NICD or the laboratory to be tested.

If it is for a ‘person under investigation’, it will be paid from Scheme risk.

If confirmed to be COVID-19, costs will be covered by CAMAF from the Scheme’s risk pool and not from member day to day benefits. (Tests will also be reprocessed from Scheme risk.)

Will the usual benefit option based exclusions apply for CAMAF members who contract COVID-19?

Your other exclusions still apply. If a member is diagnosed with COVID-19, it will be covered as a prescribed minimum benefit.

Will Network Choice members be able to be treated at an alternative provider should Netcare have a shortage of hospital beds?

The most appropriate provider to deal with the matter will be reimbursed.

What Must I Do If I Have Mild Symptoms Of COVID-19?

Do not call your local hospital.

80% of patients with COVID-19 will have no symptoms or have mild symptoms. Please consult your community GP if you need to be tested. Call your doctor first and arrange to be assessed, tested and treated out of hospital.

Any person who is tested is considered a ‘Person under Investigation’ (PUI). A PUI with no, moderate or mild symptoms is required to self-isolate until a negative result is obtained. Depending on symptoms, your doctor will guide your treatment plan.

This is in the best interests of your personal safety.

What Must I Do If I Have Moderate To Severe Symptoms Of COVID-19?

About 20% of patients with COVID-19 will experience moderate to severe symptoms, especially difficulty breathing. Patients in this category are likely to require hospital admission and are advised to call ahead to the Accident & Emergency Unit to arrange to be assessed.

Preventative measures

Like any other infectious diseases, COVID-19 can spread through coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. While the coronavirus is primarily transmitted between people through respiratory droplets, airborne transmission is also possible, particularly in indoor locations where there are crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces. WHO defines airborne transmission as the spread of an infectious agent caused by the dissemination of droplet nuclei (aerosols) that remain infectious when suspended in air over long distances and time.

To protect yourself against any potential infection, we encourage our members to keep germs at bay by following good personal hygiene habits at all times.

Wash your hands frequently

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser or wash them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Why? Washing your hands properly is the most important and effective way of killing viruses. Most infections are contracted when our germ infested hands come in contact with our mouths or through contact with other individuals whose hands may come in contact with us.

Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain and spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Getting early treatment will protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections. You must also stay home to rest and give yourself the best chance of recovery if you feel unwell.

Why? By coming to work when you are sick, you increase the risk of spreading illness to those around you.

Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider

Stay informed on the latest developments about any virus outbreaks. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your department of health or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from the viruses.

Why? Healthcare providers are best placed to advise on what you should do to protect yourself.

Maintain social distancing

Maintain at least one metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Why? Droplets may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Wear cloth face mask when in public

Why? The National Department of Health has recommended that everyone should wear cloth face masks to cover your nose and mouth when going out in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The main benefit of everyone wearing a face mask is to reduce the amount of coronavirus or influenza virus droplets being coughed up by those with the infection. Since some people with coronavirus may not have symptoms or may not know they have it, a face mask will protect people around you if you are infected. The mask will also help to protect yourself from airborne transmission. Click here to learn how to make your own cloth mask.

Have you travelled to a high-risk COVID-19 area recently?

Are displaying symptoms of fever, tight chest and/or coughing? Contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Useful links and contacts

Employer Toolkit

Member Toolkit

Family Toolkit

Multiply Updates and Info

Your health and wellness will always be our top priority. CAMAF’s official Wellness Partner is Multiply – a wellness and rewards programme that helps you make the right choices so that you can live a better, healthier life. To keep track of all Multiply and lockdown-related info, click here.


Statements By President


From the desk of the President:

13 July 2020
06 July 2020
29 June 2020
22 June 2020
15 June 2020
08 June 2020
01 June 2020
25 May 2020
18 May 2020
11 May 2020
04 May 2020
27 April 2020
20 April 2020
13 April 2020
06 April 2020
30 March 2020
23 March 2020
16 March 2020
09 March 2020
02 March 2020

COVID-19 public helpline 0800 029 999

Send the word ‘HI’ to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp

Simple precautions can make a big difference and everyone has a role to play.

Do your part to stop the spread of diseases

Facebook Iconfacebook like buttonTwitter Icontwitter follow buttonLinkedinLinkedin

Please note that our web chat operating hours

are Mondays to Thursdays 8:00am-4:00pm,

and Fridays 8:00am-3:00pm,

excluding public holidays.

Please feel free to also contact us on


If you are a member, please use the member website