Johannesburg, for decades the city of cars, has long been famous for its drive-in food takeaways. Now it could be known for Africa’s first drive-in COVID-19 testing centre.
Every day scores of cars pull in to a car park at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg with a doctor’s referral letter in hand. Officials verify the letter, sort out payment and then send the diver on to the next station where a doctor takes swabs from the nasal cavity. The test is sent to a laboratory and within 48 hours comes the result.
Running the drive-in testing centre is Dr Yakub Essak, a Johannesburg GP and medical coordinator for Gift of the Givers the charity that came up with the idea. He says drivers don’t leave their seat for the test.
“It is a lot safer because then you don’t have to have patients mixing with each other. You test them in their own environment, in the car,” says Essak.
Gift of the Givers has also opened a similar operation outside Ahmed Al-Kadi Private Hospital in Durban and is planning others in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. The charity uses volunteer doctors and has managed to keep costs down so it can charge around half of that charged by other clinics.
The greatest problem the drive-in testing stations face is a lack of protective equipment – a shortage that the volunteers are trying to produce remedy for.
The drive-in testing centres are part of South Africa’s attempts to step up it’s testing of COVID-19. A backlog running into thousands had built up as the state system struggled, but now private laboratories are also putting their shoulders to the wheel, according to public health medicine specialist, Dr Atiya Mosam.
Dr Mosam admitted that there were probably more cases in South Africa than had been detected by current testing, but thought the medical professionals were doing a fair job of containing the disease.
“Even so, people shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security,” she said.
South Africa and Senegal were the only countries in Africa with testing laboratories when COVID-19 broke out, according to the World Health Organization, but now more than 40 nations can test for the disease.
YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
COVID-19: How Materials And Test Kits Donated By Chinese Billionaire Were Distributed
National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has revealed how the various medical consignments donated by the Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma, were distributed across the various states in the country. The consignments, according to the NCDC, included 100,000 ordinary face masks, 9,999 overall gowns, 913 face… Read full story:*
Contributions To CACOVID-19 Relief Fund Hit N15 Billion- CBN
Monetary contributions to the account set up at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the auspices of the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) have hit N15 billion. A statement issued on behalf of the coalition by the Director, Corporate Communications, Central Bank of Nigeria, Isaac Okorafor, on… Read full story
COVID-19: FG Commences Disbursement Of N20,000 Cash Transfer To Over 1.2m Poor Citizens • Targets additional 1m households in 2020
Federal Government, on Wednesday, flagged-off the disbursement of N20,000 conditional cash transfer (CCT) to over 1.2 million across 34 States of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, who presented the… Read full story
Lagos Govt Condemns Worshippers Who Attacked Officials Over Lockdown Violation
Worshippers at Agege Central Mosque who on Wednesday allegedly attacked agents of Lagos State government, enforcing the on-going presidential lockdown, have been roundly condemned by senior government officials. The alleged infraction has also been widely condemned on social media… Read full story
COVID-19: Oyo Residents Raise Questions As Makinde Says Total Lockdown Last Resort •As state allocates N500million for testing kits, receives N100 million from donors
With the number of COVID-19 cases in neighbouring Osun State rising to 14, residents of Oyo State have begun to raise questions about Governor Seyi Makinde’s stance to only subscribe to a total lockdown of the state as a last resort. Making reference to the fact that the positive COVID-19 cases were returnees from… Read full story
COVID-19 Lockdown: Presidency Attacks Soyinka, Says He Is Fiction Writer, Not Medical Professor
The presidency, on Wednesday, attackedd Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, over his stance against the 14-day lockdown ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that he is not an expert in that area. A statement issued by Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu, in Abuja, observed… Read full story
The Role Of Traditional Rulers – Sanusi The Genius: A Case Study (2)
LAST week, I commenced a discussion on the concept of traditional rulership in the pre-colonial and colonial Nigeria, the legitimacy of, and the socio-economic cum political weight of traditional rulers and the dwindled relevance of monarchs and traditional chiefs in the colonial political domain… Read full article
Our Plants Are Enough To Permanently Cure Coronavirus —Adeniji
The problem of coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, is escalating every day. Here in Oyo State, Governor Seyi Makinde tested positive. As a renowned plant pathologist with over 50 years experience, what… Read full interview
Expect Locally Made COVID-19 Test Kit Soon —Salako, NIMR, DG
There is still much for medical experts to learn about COVID-19 and its challenges. In this interview by SADE OGUNTOLA, director-general, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Lagos, Professor Babatunde Salako, speaks on what the institution is doing in its fight against the pandemic… Read the full interview
Enhancing Emotional Well-Being Of Children During COVID-19
MUSA and Obinna are both 10-year-old and good friends who live in the same neighbourhood. They were about writing the second term exams in school when schools were shut and they were sent home, all because … Read full article
EDITORIAL: FG’s Restriction On Press Corps
TWO distinct things that happened in quick succession in the country recently signalled the continued threat to press freedom and the survival of the media in Nigeria. One was the action by the Presidency in restricting the number of media houses covering Aso Rock. The second was the disruption by soldiers of the circulation… Read full article