Mass screening for Covid-19 starts in WC on Monday - how exactly will it work?
The Western Cape Department of Health has identified seven areas where community screening for Covid-19 will take place on Monday and Tuesday:
Cape Town Metro sub-districts:
- Khayelitsha: Town2 and Ilitha Park (Monday)
- Eastern: Happy Valley (Monday)
- Tygerberg: Bishop Lavis (Monday)
- Klipfontein: Philippi (Monday)
- Western: Bo-Kaap (Tuesday)
- Kwanonqaba, Mossel Bay (Monday)
- Mbekweni, Cape Winelands (Monday)
Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo says details will still be communicated about further screening in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town's southern and northern areas (including Durbanville and Goodwood), as well as rural areas.
She says especially high-density areas with Covid-19 cases have been prioritised.
We do geo-mapping, and all these areas have got positive cases.Nomafrench Mbombo, Health MEC - Western Cape
In the Bo-Kaap area for example, I think there are still two cases there, also local transmission with no history of travelling... maybe they are going to the same shop, or maybe attended the same church or wedding... The more we test the more we could get a sense of people who attended wedding A, if there's a linkage...Nomafrench Mbombo, Health MEC - Western Cape
Most, we test on the basis that they were admitted at a hospital and then were tested and now we have to go deeper... If the lockdown gets lifted we might get excited that ah! we have done a sterling job in terms of limiting the spread and yet, the spread is deeper.Nomafrench Mbombo, Health MEC - Western Cape
The screening teams will be utilising community health workers already active in specific areas, she says.
They will be doing door to door, house to house, with a questionnaire that people will need to fill in [about symptoms]... There will also be some of them at tables [in the street]Nomafrench Mbombo, Health MEC - Western Cape
When some meet what warrants testing, depending on the proximity of a health facility - there could be a mobile testing lab where they can take a swab, but... if there's a clinic nearby, it's already prepared that some people will be diverted to go and test there.Nomafrench Mbombo, Health MEC - Western Cape
With results available within 24 hours, she says people who present with symptoms might have to be isolated or placed in quarantine during the waiting period if they could be infectious.
In Khayelitsha [for example] I think we have a six-bed ward for isolation specifically for Covid.Nomafrench Mbombo, Health MEC - Western Cape
Addressing security concerns, the MEC says health workers will be identifiable by their clothing and will also carry official ID.
We urge people - they can even come outside...Nomafrench Mbombo, Health MEC - Western Cape
Of course, there are people who have been abusing this... pretending to be not only for them to be contact workers for screening, but some are asking for donations, they've even got letters with our letterheads... That's why we have to work with the local councillors, the local leaders...Nomafrench Mbombo, Health MEC - Western Cape
Any additional staff will be walking together with health workers who are known in that areaNomafrench Mbombo, Health MEC - Western Cape
For more details on the mass screening programme, take a listen:
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