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No more Covid-19 testing if you’re younger than 55

2 June 2020 1:46 PM

Health officials in the Cape Metro will now only test for Covid-19 in people with comorbidities that are older than 55.
Picture: 123rf

Related article: 'Western Cape must show seemingly out-of-control numbers can be reined in'


Health officials in the Cape Metro will now only test for Covid-19 in people with comorbidities that are older than 55.

Everyone who accesses a health facility will get screened but only those who have symptoms and fall in the following categories will be tested:

  • People already in hospital with Covid-19 symptoms.

  • Health care workers with Covid-19 symptoms.

  • People who are older than 55 with diabetes or hypertension and Covid-19 symptoms.

  • People who are younger than 55 with underlying conditions and Covid-19 symptoms.

  • People who live in a care home or an old age home with Covid-19 symptoms.

Pippa Hudson asked Dr Keith Cloete (Head of Health at the Western Cape Department of Health) why the approach to testing has changed.

We want to reduce mortality… our focus turns away from people least at risk… we want to preserve tests for where it makes the most difference…

Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Health - Western Cape Department of Health

If you’re younger than 55 and you have symptoms, assume you have Covid-19… After 14 days, you’ll be fine… There’s no purpose in getting a test.

Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Health - Western Cape Department of Health

Screening is vital…

Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Health - Western Cape Department of Health

In other areas, you can still get tested. In the Metro, we’re at the point that we’re [only] looking at the vulnerable.

Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Health - Western Cape Department of Health

Listen to the interview in the audio below.


2 June 2020 1:46 PM

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