Belgian visitor to Cape Town Albert Jonathan gets tested at the drive through Covid-19 testing centre at the Old Christiaan Barnard Hospital in Bree Street. Picture: Mwangi Githahu/Cape Argus
Belgian visitor to Cape Town Albert Jonathan gets tested at the drive through Covid-19 testing centre at the Old Christiaan Barnard Hospital in Bree Street. Picture: Mwangi Githahu/Cape Argus

Rise in Covid-19 tests across the Western Cape

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Jan 15, 2021

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Cape Town 0 There has been an increase in Covid-19 testing across the Western Cape, with over a million tests registered on the provincial coronavirus dashboard.

Between 1pm on Monday and 1pm on Tuesday, there were 5 779 tests carried out in the province, according to the provincial dashboard.

In the 24 hours between Thursday, and Wednesday, the number of daily tests rose to 8 465.

Head of health Dr Keith Cloete said: “There has been a significant increase in testing in the public sector that has been maintained at double the testing prior to the resurgence.

“The public healthcare facilities are facing increasing demand for Covid-19 testing, and providing triage for confirmed cases. There has also been a prioritisation of testing at the same time as an active de-escalation of non-Covid-19 public healthcare services.”

Meanwhile, Capetonians who need to test for Covid-19 have been making their way to a number of drive-through testing centres spread out across the metro, as the Western Cape reaches the peak of its second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Testing at the drive-through centres is being carried out by the private sector and patients are paying up to R850 per test. During a visit by the Cape Argus yesterday, many of the people being tested appeared to be travellers.

According to a medical scientist at Next Biosciences, Marcel Nel, the demand for testing at their site in the parking garage of the Old Christiaan Barnard Hospital in Bree Street has also shot up dramatically.

Nel said: “We’ve been here since December 15. It can get quite busy especially in the mornings. When we are at our busiest it can be up to a two-hour wait for those who drive through for testing, but the whole process from start to finish takes about 15 minutes.

“Our clients are mainly travellers, but we also do people who just want to get tested to know their Covid-19 status. Just today we have had a group who are scheduled to travel on the Blue Train getting tested.

“All the tests we do are covered in the provincial testing numbers released every day. At the end of each day we compile our count and the provincial health department adds it to their count.”

A Belgian visitor to Cape Town, Albert Jonathan said: “We own a property here, but we’ve been stuck in Europe for the past 10 months. Now with the second wave of the virus, the property which we rent out looked to be empty for summer, we came to visit.

“We’re now going back to Europe so we looked on Facebook and the various expat groups on there suggested this particular drive-through testing centre. I had a Covid-19 test in Europe before I came and that was in a hospital, but I like the concept of coming to a drive-through. We found it very practical.”

Next Biosciences is licensed by the national department of health specifically for the diagnostic testing of Covid-19 and issues an official travel certificate.

Head of health Dr Keith Cloete said during a briefing: “There has been a significant increase in testing in the public sector that has been maintained at double the testing prior to the resurgence.”

“The public healthcare facilities are facing increasing demand for Covid19 testing, and providing triage for confirmed cases. There has also been a prioritisation of testing at the same time as an active de-escalation of nonCovid-19 public healthcare services.”

Meanwhile, Capetonians who need to test for Covid-19 have been making their way to a number of drive-through testing centres spread out across the metro, as the Western Cape reaches the peak of its second wave of Covid19 infections.

Testing at the drive-through centres is being carried out by the private sector and patients are paying up to R850 per test. During a visit by the Cape Argus yesterday, many of the people being tested appeared to be travellers.

According to a medical scientist at Next Biosciences, Marcel Nel, the demand for testing at their site in the parking garage of the Old Christiaan Barnard Hospital in Bree Street has also shot up dramatically.

Nel said: “We’ve been here since December 15. It can get quite busy especially in the mornings. When we are at our busiest it can be up to a twohour wait for those who drive through for testing, but the whole process from start to finish takes about 15 minutes.”

“Our clients are mainly travellers, but we also do people who just want to get tested to know their Covid-19 status. Just today we have had a group who are scheduled to travel on the Blue Train. All the tests we do are covered in the provincial testing numbers released every day. At the end of each day we compile our count and the provincial health department adds it to their count,” said Nel.

A Belgian visitor to Cape Town Albert Jonathan said: “We own a property here, but we’ve been stuck in Europe for the past 10 months. Now with the second wave of the virus, the property which we rent out looked to be empty for summer, we came to visit.”

“We’re now going back to Europe so we looked on Facebook and the various expat groups on there suggested this particular drive-through testing centre. I had a Covid-19 test in Europe before I came and that was in a hospital, but I like the concept of coming to a drive-through. We found it very practical,” said Jonathan.

Next Biosciences is licensed by the national department of health specifically for the diagnostic testing of Covid-19 and issues an official travel certificate with test results for travellers.

Cape Argus

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