After confirmed reports that the coronavirus has landed in South Africa, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, cautions everyone in the service industry to take the necessary health precautions to protect against infection.

“Though I would not advise anyone to panic at this stage, it is always advisable to practice good precautionary measures against infectious diseases, especially when working in the service industry such as our own. The health of our clients and our network is our top priority, which is why we recommend that our agents carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with them when interacting with clients to avoid spreading germs,” he advises.

During this time, it is also advisable to avoid handshakes if and where possible. “If your RE/MAX agent doesn’t shake your hand over this time, please do not be offended. It is their way to make sure germs are not spread.”

Research also suggests that it is better to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow rather than your bare hand. If you touch your eyes, nose, and mouth after coming into contact with the virus, you can be infected easily. For this reason, RE/MAX also advises homeowners to disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces within the home by using a regular household detergent.

“At this point in time, the virus has a fatality rate of around 1%, which is similar to the fatality rate of the flu. I, therefore, urge buyers and sellers not to panic and lock themselves into their homes, but rather to practice good hygiene habits when going into public spaces and to take necessary precautions to contain the spread of this virus,” Goslett concludes.