Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) FAQs

This information is regularly updated based on new scientific findings as the epidemic evolves.

Last updated 01 April 2020

What is CoronaVirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.

Several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections such as the common cold or in more severe cases MERS and SARS disease. COVID-19 is the most recently discovered type of coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China in December 19.

The disease was said to have appeared at a seafood market, where the people who visited the market developed viral pneumonia. The very infectious disease has been passed from person to person, resulting in the global pandemic with at least 150 countries with confirmed cases.

The newly discovered coronavirus disease official name, as named by the W.H.O, is COVID-19 (coronavirus disease of 2019). The new virus name goes by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2).

How does it spread?

The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth when an infected person coughs or exhales. Surfaces and objects can be become contaminated once the exhaled droplets from an infected person land on the surface, and a person can be infected if they come into contact with these surfaces or objects and then proceed to touch their eyes, ears, nose or mouth. Studies indicate that COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets than rather in the air. The transmission of the disease is from an infected person to a non-infected person, so it possible to catch Covid-19 from someone with a mild cough but who doesn’t present symptoms or illnesses.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Dry Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath

If you present such symptoms call your doctor or healthcare provider and explain your symptoms over the phone!

Important to know some people become infected but don’t develop symptoms and illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus has an incubation period of 2-14 days after exposure.

What do I do when...?

a) I suspect I have COVID-19
Call your medical doctor or healthcare provider over the phone and explain your symptoms

      • Home Isolation:
        Avoid public transportation
        Stay away from others in your home
        Avoid sharing personal household items such as utensils, cutlery, cups
        Limit contact with pets or animals in risk of another household member
        getting in contact with pet
      • Wear a facemask when around others or when visiting your medical doctor or healthcare provider.
      • Cover your coughs and sneezes with tissue, dispose of tissue in a lined trash bin then wash hands with soap and water thoroughly.
      • Clean hands often with soap and water or hand sanitiser and avoid touching your face.
      • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces with a disinfectant
      • Monitor your symptoms by regularly calling your doctor or healthcare provider and following instructions.

Discontinue Isolation if:

  • You are tested negative for the virus in a row, 24 hours apart
    Have no fever for at least 72 hours
  • Symptoms have improved and 7 days pass with no signs of symptoms

I want to prevent catching the infection

  • Clean hands frequently with at least 60% alcohol-based hand sanitisers or soap and water
  • Stay at least 2 meters away from anyone whose got a cold or flu-like symptoms.

Is there a Treatment?

There is no currently available vaccine to treat Covid-19.

Symptoms can be treated, getting early care from healthcare providers and medical doctors makes the disease less dangerous.
Antibiotics do not work as Covid-19 is a virus and antibiotics only work on bacterial infections.
Avoid self-medication, people with serious illness should be hospitalised.

Take the standard precautions to protect yourself such as washing your hands with soap and water.

Who is more likely at Risk?

As seen from statistical data and number of deaths reported, the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, HIV, heart disease, cancer etc. (those whose immune system has been compromised) are more susceptible to the dangers of COVID-19. Relatively few cases of Covid-19 have been reported among children. Research is still underway to understand the effects the virus has on children.

What is the risk of my child becoming sick with the Coronavirus?

Statistical evidence has shown that children do not appear to be at a higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. The symptoms in children and adults are similar, however children with COVID-19 only exhibit mild symptoms. Reported symptoms in children with COVID-19 include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose and a cough.

There is no available evidence to know whether children with underlying medical conditions and special healthcare needs are at a higher risk for sever illness. Research on how the disease impacts children is still underway.

How do I protect my child from COVID-19 infection?

The same standard procedure to keep safe from the disease also applies to children:

  • Clean hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Disinfect high touch surfaces daily in your household (e.g. tables, chairs, doorknobs, light switches, handles, toilets, sinks etc.)
  • Clean washable toys using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely in the sun.

What should I do if someone in my household gets sick with COVID-19?

  • Mild cases of the virus can be treated at home. Most people will be able to recover whilst at home. Take precautionary measures such as these:
  • Use separate room and bathroom for sick members of the house
  • Clean hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • Provide sick member with clean disposable facemasks to wear at home
  • Disinfect the sick persons room and bathroom (e.g. doorknobs, handles, light switches etc.)
  • Avoid sharing personal items like utensils, food, and drinks.
  • Monitor the sick patient’s symptoms

If a sick member develops emergency warning signs for COVID-19, call and consult your medical provider for any other severe symptoms that have developed and seek medical attention immediately.

Emergency warning signs:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

Should I get tested for COVID-19?

Not everyone needs to be tested for the coronavirus. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home.

Testing results may be helpful to inform decision-making about who you come in contact with. Decisions about testing are at the discretion of local health departments and/or individual clinicians.



We’ve collated all the Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs


Contact Us


2 Natal Road, Belgravia, Harare
Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google