Gift of the Givers director Imtiaz Sooliman said they had decided to intervene to ease the burden on the public health sector, and to alleviate the pressure on laboratories, which were sitting with an eight-day backlog.
Gift of the Givers director Imtiaz Sooliman said they had decided to intervene to ease the burden on the public health sector, and to alleviate the pressure on laboratories, which were sitting with an eight-day backlog.

Gift of Givers helps provide drive-through test stations

By Karen Singh Time of article published Mar 25, 2020

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Durban - Disaster relief organisation Gift of the Givers has partnered with the ­government in support of public health services to provide a series of “drive-through” Covid-19 testing stations across the country.

Gift of the Givers director Imtiaz Sooliman said they had decided to intervene to ease the burden on the public health sector, and to alleviate the pressure on laboratories, which were sitting with an eight-day backlog.

Sooliman said the tests would be provided at a reduced cost that included the consultation, specimen collection, courier charges and the administration costs related to feeding back to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

The cost would also include lab testing in an NICD approved SA National Accreditation System laboratory.

He said the first station, which was set up in Mayfair West last week, had been up and running. However, they were trying to move the set-up to the car park to create a more efficient system.

“In this way, you stay in the car and get swabbed. This way there is less contamination and less chance of risk to others,” said Sooliman.

He added that they had received calls to set up stations in Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Roshnee in Vereeniging, Cape Town and Pretoria.

“Our second test site in Roshnee and the third site at Ahmed Al Kadi Hospital in Durban will be up and running later this week,” said Sooliman.

He said people who travelled to high-risk countries, who were in contact with someone who tested positive within the country, and those who had connecting international flights where high-risk people would have passed through would be eligible to be tested.

He said only those with symptoms would be tested, otherwise they would have to self-quarantine at home for 14 days or until symptoms appeared.

Sooliman said that while they had reached an agreement with service providers to charge R750 for testing, the currency exchange rate would force them to increase the price.

The Mercury

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