South Africa launches integrated testing initiatives to combat Covid-19
London, April 8, 2020 (AltAfrica)-With just about 57 000 testing conducted since South Africa had its first confirmed case of Covid-19 on March 5, the country has launched integrated and nationwide initiatives to get every South African get tested for the ravaging virus
There are three different testing initiative currently runing side-by-side in the country
One of such initiatives is the roll out 67 mobile screening and testing vans across the country. AlternativeAfrica.com has been told in London that the vans have been dispatched to all nine provinces.
Aside this South Africa has equally begun of a massive house-to-house Covid-19 screening campaign in the coming weeks as the fight against the deadly virus enters its next phase.
The testing programme, which will be carried out an army of 10 000 field workers visiting people at home, was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in a televised address to the nation.
The president said South Africa was now entering a new phase in the fight against Covid-19 and the government would be rolling out a screening, testing, tracing and monitoring programme on a “huge scale”.
The latest of the initiatives is drive-through testing facility launched on Tuesday by DisChem pharmacy
DisChem said it was launching a testing facilities at parking areas of a number of centres throughout the country where its stores were located to help government efforts of testing more people.
Lizeth Kruger, the head of clinics at DisChem, said they were rolling out the initiative which would cost R850 per test as labs were under strain.
“This has a knock-on effect with results taking longer which then adds to the timing of diagnoses. At times like these, whatever support the private sector can give to the government will be valuable – we are all fighting the same unseen enemy, so Dis-Chem will be playing a supportive role in working to alleviate some of the pressure by introducing a drive-through testing option.”
WHERE TO TEST
Currently Centurion Mall, Olympus, Fourways Mall and Blu Bird Centre (Athol) testing sites are open.
More testing sites will be shared on the pharmacy’s website – www.dischem.co.za – as the company aims to open more testing sites.
“In light of the increasing incidence of Covid-19 transmissions, it’s crucial that South Africa can accurately predict the trajectory of this pandemic. With a greater testing capacity comes a truer picture of the spread of the virus in the country and we’re proud to be able to support the health authorities during such a challenging time,” Kruger said.
DisChem said the testing sites would be open between 9am and 4pm only on weekdays, with testing being conducted from your car.
The company said protective personal equipment for nurses who would conduct the tests were available and the pharmacy said the results would be logged with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.
DisChem said they were using the same tests as the ones on offer at various labs. Results would take between 24 and 48 hours, they said.