COVID-19: Health dept awaiting 'promising' antibody tests

Cape Town, Johannesburg, Ethekwini and Nelson Mandela Bay are some of the hotspots concerning the health ministry. Minister Zweli Mkhize says the department is watching the Cape Town area most closely as it's presenting the biggest concerns. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says his department is awaiting validation for some promising antibody tests for COVID-19.

Mkhize says there are several concerns and issues when it comes to antibody tests.

READ: Makhura: COVID-19 now in townships

"Antibody tests have their own issues and therefore it needs to be carefully managed. Firstly if someone is testing positive for the antibodies, you can't tell if they are actively infectious at that time, all you can tell is that they haven't been exposed.

So whether that person needs to be isolated or released into the community, you need to do further tests on that, so you, therefore, need to balance the two", said Mkhize.

Mkhize says a few tests have been evaluated and will go through a validation process before a decision is made.

READ: Increase in local COVID-19 cases, death toll

"We have evaluated close to 50 tests, which come from different companies all over the world and out of those a number of them did not meet the standard.

We have a few that have been evaluated and once the paperwork is done then we need to make sure that the validation process allows us to be able to use them."

Cape Town, Johannesburg, eThekwini and Nelson Mandela Bay are some of the hotspots concerning the health ministry.

READ: Decline in number of active COVID-19 cases in Gauteng: Makhura

Mkhize says the department is watching the Cape Town area most closely as it is presenting the biggest concerns.

He says strict restrictions will still need to be implemented in hotspot areas.

The number of confirmed infections in South Africa has increased to 12,739.

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Source
eNCA