As the full impact of the lockdown announced by the State President, Cyril Ramaphosa, begins to take hold, many South African are wondering whether they should get tested for the Coronavirus and if so, how do they go about it. The Hospital Association of South Africa (HASA) has provided some useful website links for your use. Mark Peach, Executive of Public Affairs says:
“As we speak, the pathology labs are under tremendous pressure. So too, many hospitals. Understandably, many people are worried, and many are walking in to both and demanding testing. Many are asymptomatic and have not been exposed to anyone positive for the coronavirus. Consequently, supplies are under strain, staff are increasingly in distress, and hospital protocols are being disregarded. Can we start by getting this message out, that there is a protocol as to who should, and who should not be treated. That protocol is here, under the heading “Criteria for Person Under Investigation (PUI)”: http://www.nicd.ac.za/diseases-a-z-index/covid-19/. Also,
1. Please note the following freely available information and resources:
a. The NICD website (http://www.nicd.ac.za) and the Department of Health information portal at https://sacoronavirus.co.za/ are indispensable.
b. All the private hospitals have a range of information and communication tools (see http://www.netcare.co.za; http://www.lifehealthcare.co.za; http://nhn.co.za; http://www.mediclinic.co.za; http://www.lenmed.co.za), among others.
c. Mediclinic has an online personal risk assessment tool. Fill in the fields and find out in a minute whether a test is necessary. It is at https://www.mediclinic.co.za/en/corporate/corona-virus/covid-19-risk-assessment-tool.html. Please share this as widely as you can. An assessment preceding testing will reduce the pressure on path labs and hospitals. Let people know.
d. Discovery Health also has a highly informative and useful Covid-19 information hub at http://www.discovery.co.za as does GEMS at https://www.gems.gov.za/corporate/news-and-events/COVID—12-Coronavirus
3. As you know, our future success in managing Covid-19 depends on the success we have in enforcing and observing social distancing. I have made excellent infographics available at https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ao780VrDACpfZ3AdmUslCsuAF8Q?e=Z1aAUB that you can download and share. Included is a wonderful flow chart that deals with the management of fellow South Africans from identification, to diagnosis and through to discharge – this is indispensable for the physicians among you.”