South Africa launches new mobile coronavirus testing vans

The Department of Health has launched new mobile sampling and testing units which will form part of a massive coronavirus testing drive across South Africa.

“In light of the increasing incidence of Covid-19 local transmissions, it has become necessary to scale up the capacity of testing citizens across the country,” said Minister of health Zweli Mkhize.

“To this end, the National Health Laboratory Service has procured 60 mobile sampling and testing units to be deployed nationwide to all districts and metropolitan municipalities.”

Addressing the nation on Monday evening (30 March), President Cyril Ramaphosa said that government will in the coming days roll out a large-scale screening, testing, tracing and a medical management programme.

“We are now entering a new phase in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Around 10,000 field workers will be visiting homes in villages, towns and cities to screen residents for Covid-19 symptoms,”  Ramaphosa said.

“People with symptoms will be referred to local clinics or mobile clinics for testing. People who are infected with Coronavirus, but who have no or moderate symptoms will remain in isolation at home or at a facility provided by government and those with severe symptoms will be transferred to hospitals,” the President said.

“Using mobile technology, an extensive tracing system will be rapidly deployed to trace those who have been in contact with confirmed Coronavirus cases and to monitor the geographical location of new cases in real-time,” the president said.

Read: Don’t expect ‘life as normal’ after South Africa’s coronavirus 21-day lockdown: Mkhize

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South Africa launches new mobile coronavirus testing vans