Click here for the official COVID-19 South African Resource Portal

Coronavirus: 2019 to now

In December 2019, the World Health Organization was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, China. The virus was identified as a novel Coronavirus or COVID-19, and was declared a public health emergency on 30 January 2020.

South Africa confirmed its first positive case of COVID-19 on the 5th of March 2020, and to date, the country has reported just over 1.6 million positive cases, and just short of 56 000 deaths due to COVID-19.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

What are we doing for our customers?

Rentokil Initial has been designated an essential services provider and has thus been able to continue to provide hygiene and pest control support services to our customers during the various stages of lockdown in South Africa.

All our colleagues have received extensive training to ensure that their presence on-site does not pose any additional risk to our customers and their employees.

As the experts in hygiene, we offer a full range of products and services to promote and support good hygiene in your business while South Africa waits for its vaccine program to be fully implemented.

According to the WHO, the basics of good hygiene include: 

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, or wash them properly with soap and water. Washing your hands is still key to maintaining good hygiene because it eliminates germs including viruses that may be on your hands. Here are some free resources you may find helpful:


    Handwashing posters for covid-19

    Handwashing Posters: Ensure correct hand washing practices are followed by downloading and placing these posters in washroom and kitchen areas.

    Get your posters



  • Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently, especially those which are regularly touched, such as door handles, taps and phone screens. For high-risk premises where there are confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, we offer a Specialist Disinfection service.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and once contaminated, they can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth, causing infection.

  • Avoid the 3Cs: spaces that are closed, crowded or involve close contact. Coronavirus outbreaks have been reported in places where people have gathered in crowded indoor settings where they talk loudly, shout, breathe heavily or sing. The risks of getting COVID-19 are higher in crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected people spend long periods of time together in close proximity. These environments are where the virus appears to spread more efficiently by respiratory droplets or aerosols, so investing in an air purification solution is even more important.

have questions? contact our team:


Handwashing posters for the workplace by Initial Hygiene

Hand Hygiene Posters

Download these posters and place them around the office to remind staff how to keep their working area hygienic. 

Download Posters

How can Rentokil Initial help you stay safe during the pandemic?

Specialist Disinfection Services from Initial Hygiene

In addition to providing products and services that support good hand hygiene, our Specialist Disinfection Service is an additional weapon in your arsenal against Coronavirus. We offer an antibacterial fogging treatment that quickly and effectively eliminates disease-causing pathogens (including viruses) to reduce the risk of illness and cross-contamination.

The service is legally compliant in treating high-risk premises where there are confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19. Qualified technicians are equipped with all the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), respiratory protective equipment, and specialist disinfection equipment to work safely and effectively on services tailored to meet your exact needs.

Our Specialist Disinfection Service is tiered into 4 categories, and you can find further information here on our website, or contact us and our team can assist you with a personalised quote.

Air Hygiene and Purification services and systems from Initial Hygiene

Air quality is important to physical and mental wellbeing. It has become even more crucial now that we know that Coronavirus can be spread via the air to people. The spread of COVID-19 begins with infected respiratory droplets (being transmitted from person to person or landing on surfaces) and tiny viral particles – aerosols – that can linger in the air for several hours, so an air hygiene strategy that includes air purification and indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring is essential for enclosed spaces.

Initial has a range of air purification options suited to your business, including the exclusive range of VIRUSKILLER™ air purifiers - guaranteed to kill 99.9999% of viruses in a single air pass, including Coronavirus*. Installing these units will improve your air quality and stop the airborne transmission of infectious illnesses, making indoor spaces safer for customers, visitors, patients, and staff.

Download Infographic

*When independently tested against Coronavirus DF2 (a surrogate for Coronavirus), Adenovirus, Influenza and Polio, the unit was found to kill 99.9999% of viruses on a single air pass.

COVID-19 Waste Disposal Services from Initial Hygiene

Initial is supporting South African businesses with the collection and disposal of waste associated with the Coronavirus pandemic and vaccination rollout. This includes infectious waste which may be contaminated or potentially contaminated with Coronavirus and waste from nationwide testing and vaccination programmes.

Read more about our solutions for Coronavirus contaminated waste here.

Good hygiene habits supported by superior solutions

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve received a number of enquiries from our customers related to the alcohol content of our hand sanitiser. There has also been substantial media coverage related to ‘off-the-shelf’ sanitisers that do not conform to health and safety standards.

Initial is proud to advise customers that we offer a full range of 70% pure alcohol sanitisers - in addition to our range of 60% Isopropyl alcohol sanitisers which are combined with active ingredient additives.

This is in line with the South African Government’s guidelines stating that alcohol hand sanitisers must have a minimum concentration of 70% alcohol for the purposes of eliminating the COVID-19 virus, and the amendments to the national standard SANS 490: Requirements for all alcohol-based hand sanitisers and hand rub.

These local changes have been driven by guidelines from both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) in their fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to our alcohol-based hand sanitiser products, our range of hand hygiene dispensers are created with integral antibacterial technology and are perfect for providing that extra level of protection in busy areas. Wall-mounted units provide easy access and promote good hand washing and sanitising practices in your business.

View our hand hygiene range

Hand hygiene bathroom range from Initial Hygiene Services

What are we doing for our employees?

At the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic Rentokil Initial established a dedicated central team to monitor the unfolding situation and maintain a global response plan across all of our businesses.

New and updated information regarding the pandemic is constantly being assessed and communicated to ensure that not only are our colleagues always protected, but that customers can also be informed of developments as they happen. In every country, our management teams, health and safety officers, and HR managers are continuously monitoring local government guidelines and recommendations from the WHO and CDC.

Colleague exposure to infection risks is closely monitored, with additional health and safety controls in place - including but not limited to:

  • Increased supply and use of PPE, particularly N95 and FFP3 face masks.
  • Quarantining colleagues who present symptoms after travel into infected areas or exposure to infected persons.
  • Practicing regular, good hand hygiene using soap and water and applying an alcohol-based hand sanitiser solution
  • Use of all forms of fit-for-purpose, undamaged PPE, specified and provided for the work they are required to perform.
  • Only colleagues trained in biohazards and infection control will be permitted to conduct specialist disinfection services in medical treatment rooms or quarantine areas which are used for the care of patients who have experienced COVID-19 infections, and provided there are no potentially affected people in the area and all other risks have been robustly assessed.

Additional reading

Behind the design of the next air care revolution VIRUSKILLER

Behind the design of the next air care revolution: VIRUSKILLER™

Initial is proud to announce an agreement to distribute the VIRUSKILLER™ Air Purifier range. The only air purifier proven to kill 99.9999% of viruses with a single air pass, including Coronavirus*. Read the full blog here >>>

Initial Hygiene's Specialist Disinfection Service

Initial's Specialist Disinfection Service

Have you considered what you would do if you have a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case on your premises? How do you ensure that premises are safe? Read the full blog here >>>

Your guide to PPE disposal

Your guide to PPE disposal

The pandemic has created a global PPE disposal problem, and PPE has started to wash up on beaches all across the world. Here is your guide on how to correctly and safely dispose of used PPE. Read the full blog here >>>

Is your business delivering confidence

Is your business delivering confidence?

Confidence can be a rather fragile notion and the global pandemic has affected everyone’s in so many ways. One effect is that it has highlighted the importance of hygiene on business confidence. Read the full blog here >>>

Other resource pages

Keep up-to-date with country-specific guidelines and recommendations from dedicated websites such as: