Community members in parts of the North West and Free State will be able to go for free Covid-19 screening tests in the coming days. This procedure is especially for those who have had contact with confirmed cases, or people who have been exposed to Covid-19 environments, such as healthcare facilities.
The Free State health department urges community members to get screened for the virus.
“You are asked to avail yourself for screening to determine your eligibility to test for Covid19,” says a statement released by the department.
Screening before testing
According to Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize, the field workers will not conduct any tests but do a screening, and will refer any persons suspected of having Coronavirus to the nearest community healthcare centre, clinic or hospital.
“I also want to emphasise that — at this stage — only PCR [polymerase chain reaction] tests will be conducted at healthcare facilities. We are exploring the use of rapid antibody tests and Gene Xpert tests in the future when we have to process high numbers,” Mkhize said at a press briefing on Tuesday.
Free State screening schedule:
The Free State mass screening is scheduled to start at 10:00am until 17:00pm at the following areas, during the following dates.
- Freedom Square
- Bloemfontein Phases 5, 7 and 9
- Bloemfontein Phase 2
The Free State health department will be repeating any sites that still have outstanding contacts to be screened on 11 to 16 April.
North West screening schedule:
The North West will also action screening procedures as follows.
- Bojanala Platinum District – Rustenburg And Brits
- Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District – Vryburg
- Dr Kenneth Kaunda – Potchefstroom and Klerksdorp
Upscaling screening and testing
This screening and testing program follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that the nation is moving towards a new phase of screening, testing, tracing and medical management of the virus.
“Around 10 000 field workers will be visiting homes in villages, towns and cities to screen residents for Covid-19 symptoms,” the president said. These 10 000 healthcare workers will continue to be deployed across the country to conduct door-to-door screening in South Africa’s most vulnerable communities.
Mkhize reassured South Africans that the field workers, frontline workers and all workers coming into contact with Covid-19 positive patients, and other infectious diseases, will be provided with adequate personal protective equipment and that no worker will be fielded without the necessary protection measures.–Health-e News
For more information on Covid-19 in South Africa, you can call the toll-free line on 0800 029 999, or you can send a message that says “Hi” on WhatsApp to the number 060 012 3456. You can also visit the SA Coronavirus website.