DA KZN leader urges private hospitals to conduct free Covid-19 testing
Durban - DA KZN leader Zwakele Mncwango has called on private hospitals to also assist government in the fight against the coronavirus by allowing free testing.
Mncwango commended government measures and efforts that had been put in place so far.
Speaking to Independent Media on Thursday, Mncwango said private hospitals should show a sense of patriotism and assist members of the public without medical aid by testing for free.
He said private hospitals had made a lot of money over the years and they would not lose out by assisting the public with free coronavirus testing.
Earlier, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced South Africa now had 150 confirmed Covid-19 cases.
“These private hospitals are also part of this country, it won’t harm their revenues just to allow, in this space of a crisis, to work with all stakeholders in ensuring that we work as a team because this not an ANC problem, it can’t be a DA problem, but it’s a problem of all of us in South Africa.
“It’s also not a problem only for President Cyril Ramaphosa, it affects all of us and we need to come back and unite,” Mncwango said.
He also called on traders and shop owners to stop inflating prices of goods as hand sanitisers.
“This virus also requires us as citizens to take the necessary precautions and we can’t have cases of naivety, such as that of the Pastor Bheki Ngcobo still telling people to go to church because he says the president is not God. Government can’t do anything if the people are naive.
“With the restrictions that the government has put in place, it is trying by all means to safeguard our communities. Communication on the virus has been well and properly planned by the government and almost every day we get updates,” said Mncwango.
He said that one of the challenges could be in the rural areas where more should be done as people in rural areas could possibly not have information first hand in the way that people in urban areas do.
“We might need to find other ways to ensure that people in the rural areas are well informed such as having information in the language that people in rural areas understand in centres where Amakhosi and Izinduna congregate,” Mncwango said.
He said that it was easier to contain the virus within the middle class because they are fully aware of it and they have easier access to information and they are proactive whereas in rural areas a person 'might have a cough and think nothing much of it and think they will be fine'.
He said that the government should also ensure that there was proper equipment in hospitals to detect those who have the virus and also have health workers in different centres in communities testing people.
“This thing of testing people only because they show symptoms and for people to turn up to get tested themselves is also a problem in itself.
“We should have a way of rolling out tests, for instance in shopping malls where people are tested upon entering the mall, much like they did in Parliament where there were health workers testing everyone entering Parliament. There should be testing centres throughout the country,” said Mncwango.
Mncwango said that this was necessary because there were now cases of internal transmission of the virus instead of it only being found in those who had travelled outside the country and that having testing centres across the country would also help for areas such as squatter camps where people live in small, yet crowded spaces.
“Once this virus hits the poorest of the poor in South Africa it will become uncontrollable,” said Mncwango.