Covid-19 testing to be rolled out in high transmission areas in Durban

By Karen Singh Time of article published May 12, 2020

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Durban - Mass Covid-19 testing is being carried out in high transmission areas including Phoenix, Isipingo, uMlazi, Chatsworth, Cato Manor and Mayville.

Led by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, the Centre for HIV-Aids Prevention Studies (Chaps) has rolled out Covid-19 testing across Durban in areas which have a high transmission rate.

Jacqueline Pienaar, chief executive officer of Chaps, said the centre had partnered with the National Department of Health and is supported by the Aurum Institute, Concerned Citizens and Global Health Innovations.

The initiative is sponsored by Nedbank, Spar and Chroma Capital in the battle to stop the spread of the virus in KZN.

As of Sunday, KZN has 1353 confirmed cases and is one of the hardest-hit provinces.

Pienaar said Chaps was advised where to deploy their teams by the Durban Disaster Management Command Centre that has identified high transmission areas where known positive cases were found.

Chaps teams were therefore currently testing in those areas, Pienaar.

She said these were substantial catchment areas which would take time to cover.

According to Chaps, the initiative has seen just over 1600 tests being completed since April 28 with 320 people being tested a day.

There is a three-day processing period at the lab.

The testing vehicles and human resources handed over to KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala and Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu by the private sector last month were being used in the testing and screening campaign.

Chaps said the support from their private sector partners Nedbank, Spar and Chroma Capital had been invaluable.

The vehicles are equipped with drivers, nurses, administrators, testing kits, sample collection and analysis resources.

This initiative will support the region to test 24000 more people each month.

Chaps said the focus of this campaign was on obligatory door-to-door and community testing.

Aupa Noge, the local head of department at Chaps, who is in charge of the initiative, said the teams activate the programme by using loudhailers and nurses to promote screening within the community.

Those who were screened and had to be tested would receive their results 48 hours later via SMS.

The Mercury

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