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Corona Virus: How to Protect Yourself

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There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.alert icon

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

Take steps to protect yourself

Illustration: washing hands with soap and water

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Illustration: Woman quarantined to her home

Avoid close contact

Take steps to protect others

man in bed

Stay home if you’re sick

woman covering their mouth when coughing

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
man wearing a mask

Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • If you are sick:  You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
cleaning a counter

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

To disinfect:
Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.

Options include:

  • Diluting your household bleach.
    To make a bleach solution, mix:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
    • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
    Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
  • Alcohol solutions.
    Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.
  • Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants.
    Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens pdf icon[7 pages]external icon claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
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SA PhD student named one of the world’s top young scientists.

29 year old University of the Western Cape PhD Student, Shireen Mentor, earned the honour of being named one of the world’s top young scientists.

One of 6 SA female scientists selected by the SA Academy of science, Shireen joined more than 500 undergraduates and PhD students from around the world to engage with 30 Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany.

As a result of her research into the disease of addiction within the Cape Flats communities in and around her home suburb and neighbouring areas, Shireen was awarded a Fullbright Scholarship and will be heading off soon to the University of Missouri for nine months.

“My original research was situated squarely within the context of substance abuse. My neighbourhood, like many others in the greater Cape Town, experiences high levels of substance abuse, in particular methamphetamine – and this inspired me to look at the science behind it.

“In my honours year I investigated the effects of methamphetamine on the blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability, since the mechanism may be linked to the integrity of the BBB, which regulates the movement of ions, pathogens, and an array of harmful substances across brain capillaries, protecting the cognitive integrity of the central nervous system.

“UWC has been my stepping stone in many respects. I’m looking forward to learning more about how my research may one day be able to make a meaningful contribution to treating addiction.”

Shireen has already been published in leading scientific journals and was the first recipient of the Wyndham Prize from the Physiology Society of Southern Africa in 2014

Source: News 24, UWC,

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SA’s most in-demand skills right now

Job site CareerJunction has published its latest jobs index (CJI), These findings are based on comprehensive data gathered from the Career Junction website – where around 3,000 of the country’s top Recruiters (both agencies and corporate companies) advertise their positions to millions of registered job seekers.

The architecture & engineering, building &,construction, business & management sectors experienced a notable uptake in hiring activity. Trending jobs in South Africa include : business development, team leader & supervisor, financial/project accounting. The top employment sectors were architecture & engineering, IT
and business & management.

Trending jobs

Trending jobs provide an indication of  positions that have become more popular in the online job market and have seen a recent spike in demand. Here are December’s2019’s Hot Jobs!

Business Development

Average salary offerings for intermediate level position:

  • GP – R32,571 to R41,246 p.m.
  • WC – R27,190 to R33,381 p.m.
  • KZN – R31,698 to R42,976 p.m.

Team Leader & Supervisor

Average salary offerings for an intermediate level position:

  • GP – R27,665 to R33,817 p.m.
  • WC – R25,475 to R28,036 p.m
  • KZN – R21,071 to R27,385 p.m.

Financial / Project Accounting

Average salary offerings for an intermediate level position:

  • GP – R32,856 to R41,163 p.m.
  • WC – R29,106 to R34,444 p.m.
  • KZN – R30,476 to R39,463 p.m.

Our latest research also shows that the following occupational fields are currently the most sought-after skill sets in the job market.

  • Software development skills remained the most in demand skill set during 2019.
  • Middle / department managers remain high in demand, particularly finance managers.
  • Despite a drop in vacancies towards the end of the year, sales representatives are in high demand.


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Barloworld appoints its first woman to chair the organization.

Neo Dongwana has been appointed the first female chairman of Barloworld. Photo: SuppliedJOHANNESBURG – Long-serving Barloworld board member Neo Dongwana has been appointed as Barloworld’s chairperson following her endorsement by shareholders at the annual general meeting – the first woman to chair the board in the company’s 118 years of existence.

Outgoing chairperson of 12 years, advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza SC, said yesterday: “It has been an honour and privilege to have been a member of the Barloworld board for just over 20 years and chairperson for 12. During this time, I have seen the group weather many changes and challenging macro-economic dynamics.”

Dongwana has served on the Barloworld board since May 2012. After qualifying as a CA, Dongwana worked as an equity analyst at Gensec Asset Management. She currently serves as a non-executive director of Mpact and Nedbank. Prior to these appointments, she was an audit partner at Deloitte for almost 10 years.

Dongwana is also a member of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority Tribunal and a member of the African Women Chartered Accountants.

“I am honoured to be appointed the chairperson of the board of Barloworld, a company I’ve been proud to serve for more than eight years.”

Meanwhile, Barloworld said yesterday that group revenue for the three months to December 31 was lower than the prior year due to continued weak economic and trading conditions. Global concern over the corona virus outbreak was weighing on general sentiment, the group said in a trading statement.

Operating profit before black economic empowerment charges was lower, while the steady performance of the equipment divisions contributed positively to performance. The adoption of new accounting standards positively impacted the operating performance, but a higher interest charge resulted in a “net adverse impact on attributable income in line with our expectations,” the group said.

Currency movements also negatively impacted the fair value adjustments on financial instruments.

Overall sales were down due to lower machine sales in the rest of Africa, particularly in Mozambique, where the 2019 performance was bolstered by the delivery of the balance of a machine package deal. Aftermarket revenue ended higher.

Operating profit margins improved from last year driven by increased parts activity and cost containment. The firm order book remained strong. Barloworld’s joint venture in the Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of Congo was down on the prior year, impacted by reduced mining activity and unfavourable cobalt prices.

Equipment Russia’s first quarter revenues were in line with the prior year, while operating profit showed some improvement. This was driven mainly by strong mining sales. Automotive trading was down on the prior year. Avis Fleet’s operating performance was down against the prior year.

In logistics, non-renewal of contracts and increased fleet costs impacted results. Turnaround initiatives continued. The sale of the Middle East operation was close to conclusion, while the Smartmatta sale progressed.

Barloworld’s share price closed 0.22percent lower at R99.76 on the JSE yesterday.