Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
9 Mar 2020
10:30 am

Public can get coronavirus test from private practitioners now

Citizen Reporter

The test, which is currently done by using a technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR), will cost R1,200. 

Clinical support technician Douglas Condie extracts viruses from swab samples so that the genetic structure of a virus can be analysed and identified in the coronavirus testing laboratory at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, on February 19, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

South Africans who previously had to go through the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and select doctors in order to get tested for Covid-19 can now go straight to private laboratories to get the test done.

Times Live reports that the test, which is currently done by using a technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR), will cost R1,200.

Speaking to the publication, NICD spokesperson Sinenhlanhla Jimoh confirmed that more workers had been assigned to the emergency operations centre after a South African tested positive for the virus. As more and more cases are reported on a daily basis, the need for more tests to be conducted rises.

According to a medical epidemiologist at the NICD Dr Sibongile Walaza 200 people have been tested thus far. 144 of them were patients under investigation and from that pool, one tested positive.

Speaking at a community engagement session at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at the weekend, health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said the department has activated an emergency operations centre to deal with Coronavirus.

The centre is staffed with dedicated practitioners working exclusively to handle the coronavirus outbreak. Activated outbreak response teams have also been stationed in various provinces.

According to the minister, hospitals in all provinces have been equipped and are prepared to receive potential coronavirus cases. These hospitals have been identified as centres for isolation and treatment. The department announced the following hospitals as centres for isolation and treatment of people infected with coronavirus:

– Polokwane Hospital in Limpopo
– Rob Ferreira Hospital in Mpumalanga
– Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, Steve Biko Hospital and Tembisa Hospitals in Gauteng
– Grey’s Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal
– Klerksdorp Hospital in the North West
– Kimberly Hospital in the Northern Cape
– Pelonomi Hospital in the Free State
– Livingstone Hospital in the Eastern Cape
– Tygerberg Hospital in the Western Cape

(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)

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