Part 4: Dr Matjekane on which patients are being prioritised for Covid-19 testing
In the fourth part of our online video series with Dr Mathobela Matjekane, she discusses which patients are being prioritised for Covid-19 testing and why.
"The most important thing that you need to understand with our current healthcare system is that nowhere in the world do people have sufficient services. Currently, we are trying to prioritise patients that are accompanied with severe symptoms," said Matjekane. "For patients that are symptomatic that don't really need the test, those are the patients that are being prioritised."
"However, anybody that has been in positive contact with a Covid-19 patient with symptoms, these are the patients, according to the Department of Health, that will be given priority testing," she added.
According to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, South Africa needs to conduct "hundreds of thousands" of coronavirus tests to understand the true number of infections and halt their spread.
The country has the highest number of coronavirus cases in sub-Saharan Africa, and the government is worried that infection rates could get out of hand if the virus starts spreading rapidly in the country's poor and overcrowded townships.
Mkhize said officials were moving away from a testing model focused on people with symptoms to one that also targeted communities where people with mild symptoms could be slow to seek medical help.
"We need to test hundreds of thousands of the population to get a better picture and refine our containment strategy," he said during a press conference on Wednesday.
Visit Clinimed's website for further info on Dr Mathobela Matjekane