Part 3: Dr Matjekane on what the coronavirus test entails

By Lifestyle reporter Time of article published Apr 1, 2020

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In part 3 of our online Q&A session with Dr Mathobela Matjekane, she explains the complexities of having the Covid-19 test done.

"My experience as a doctor has been that people are just wanting to come in and get a test done, and the minute they realise the financial implications that come with that, they have to think twice about it," she says.

"It's not a cheap test. There's no rapid test. The test is done at a lab, so you either get sputum collected or a shot done that is sent to the lab. It takes about 48 hours, depending on the lab that you're using," Dr Matjekane added.

In response to the virus spreading rapidly, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced that government will be increasing the testing process across the country.

“The approach we are going to be taking is that we are going to be unveiling, in the next three days, additional mobile testing vans which would be deployed to a number of provinces, particularly the ones where the problem is the biggest. That is the Western Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Free State…, Mkhize said.

He added: "The approach we are taking, as the president has indicated (is that) we are going to increase the number of field workers who are going to do the tracking and testing,” Mkhize said. 

According to Mkhize the current number of field workers stands at 5000 and the number is set to soon increase as the government steps up its efforts to fight the spread of the virus.

Government is expected to team up with non-NGOs who will work alongside state nurses. 

Visit Clinimed's website for further info on Dr Mathobela Matjekane

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