New Covid-19 drive-through testing facility to open at Pretoria's SuperSport Park
A new drive-through testing facility at SuperSport Park in Pretoria will test people who are symptomatic people, who have been exposed to a laboratory-confirmed case or have been referred by a medical practitioner.
HealthInsite, a corporate health and wellness services organisation, and iMed Laboratories have joined forces to set up the facility, which will open on Monday and help address the lack of testing sites in Pretoria.
Dr Jedd Myers, the chief operating officer of HealthInsite, said that as the spread of the virus had gathered momentum and Gauteng had surpassed the Western Cape as the epicentre of the pandemic in South Africa, drive-through testing stations remain a vital part of the Covid-19 response.
He said that the Wanderers facility in Johannesburg was the first of several facilities that had sprung up around the country, thus increasing the public’s access to testing during increasingly challenging and uncertain times.
“We are highly cognisant of the importance of compliance with the guidelines for testing issued by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and are stringently aligning with these in our drive-through testing services.
"We are aware of the fact that there is widespread anxiety around the condition and we believe that accessible drive-through facilities are making it far easier for people to find the help that they need,” he said.
According to Dr Myers, the third drive-through testing station had been the result of an increase in the number of positive cases in Gauteng and the fact that there was a seeming lack of testing sites in Pretoria.
The new SuperSport Park drive-through operates in the same way as its Johannesburg counterpart as well as another facility that was set up by HealthInsite in Observatory, Cape Town, in April.
Drive-through facilities have been proven to be an effective means of testing for the virus worldwide, especially in countries such as South Korea, the USA, Australia and Israel.
Each person who drives into the facility remains in their vehicle for the duration of the test. Medical staff and administrators complete the paperwork and testing procedures.
Throughout the process, stringent measures are taken to sanitise the vehicle and the individual being tested to protect frontline personnel from the transmission. Staff are issued with personal protective equipment and adhere to stringent environmental hygiene measures.
Test results are communicated by SMS or email within as short a period as possible. Myers says that anyone who tests positive is contacted and referred to the national tracing process under the auspices of the NICD.
He is confident that this new facility will help alleviate the massive pressure for testing on both public and private healthcare facilities. To date, it is reported that more than 2 million Covid-19 tests have been carried out in the country.IOL