Western Cape COVID-19 testing crisis

The Western Cape health sector is buckling under the pressure of a massive backlog of COVID-19 tests. Premier Alan Winde says nearly 4,000 tests are conducted daily. Courtesy #DStv403

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape health sector is buckling under the pressure of a massive backlog of COVID-19 tests.

Premier Alan Winde says nearly 4,000 tests are conducted daily.

Since the end of April, nearly 20,000 tests have been conducted in the province. 

The significant increase in testing is now putting the National Health Laboratory Service under huge strain.

READ: South Africa's COVID-19 death toll climbs to 148

“We've really been ramping up our tests I remember last week we were quite happy when we got to 2,000 tests in a day and now we are sitting at over four-thousand tests in a day so it's now starting to push the lab capability. I mean these are the discussions you got to have it's not as if it's unique,” said Winde.

According to Winde, a person may have to wait up to five days for their results. 

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The long wait could place many at risk of spreading the virus should they be in contact with others without knowing their status. 

“I mean even before you went for a test you had symptoms so you're already contagious. So, we need to say please we've got quarantine facilities and isolation facilities so we need to have that discussion if you are not able to quarantine or isolate yourself and please make sure that in that environment you need to look after yourself,” Winde added.

- Coronavirus Hotline Number: 0800 029 999 from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday

Help protect your loved ones by sharing this official South African government COVID-19 service with your family, friends and community.

Send HI to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp.

The NICD has another Clinician Hotline to improve #COVID19 communication and support for healthcare providers. The Clinician Hotline is 0800 11 1131, operating 24 hrs. The Public Hotline is 0800 029 999 also operating 24hrs.

Source
eNCA

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