There are growing concerns that a lot of people in the Northern Cape are walking around with the COVID-19 virus as not enough testing has been done to date. Only less than 1% of the population in the province, which is over 1.1 million, has been tested.
Residents are concerned that the Northern Cape Health department is focusing more on screening instead of testing, which could be disastrous as those who have the virus but are asymptomatic, will not easily be detected up during the screening process.
The Northern Cape Health Department has to date conducted 488 000 screenings and 1 234 tests in the province.
To some in the Northern Cape, that is not enough as they say, without conducting more tests, it is impossible to determine how many people have COVID-19.
Below is a graph that shows statistics of COVID-19 in South Africa:
“We’re very happy to see the low rate of infections in the province but in other words, also we’re not that happy because we are not that sure how far our testing is.”
“As a person who went to hospital when I was ill, I feel like nothing has been done because when I got there and asked to be tested for COVID-19 they told me to go back home and relax. So, I feel like not everybody is being tested so we cannot really be sure and be happy about the numbers,” some people say.
Opposition parties in the province are also concerned about the low number of tests that have been conducted. The DA’s Andrew Louw says they are worried.
“What is worrisome at the moment, is when you look at the figures, it’s slightly over a thousand people who have tested and I think that is way too little compared to the number of people that we have in the province,” says Louw.
Meanwhile, the Health Department says they will conduct tests on those who show signs of COVID-19.
Health MEC, Mase Manopole says they have screened about over 400 thousand people.
“We managed to screen about 488 thousand people in our communities, in our province and have tested 1 266 people in our province and we still noted that we’re having 17 cases in our province and 13 has recovered. It means we have four active cases, currently. As we continue doing our work of massive screening and testing we’d still like to make an appeal to our people please continue cooperating with our people and health care worker,” says Manopole.
A family of a 31-year-old Kimberley man who tested positive for COVID-19 is living in fear. The victim’s father, George Beerwinkel says he fears that his entire household could be living with the virus without knowing it.
“My fear is that the family members could get infected, (and) that could disrupt our household. You see, that is the fear, that somebody else could die because we need to get help from somewhere,” says Beerwinkel.
The victim is one of the four people that recently tested positive in the Northern Cape, bringing the total number of cases to 23.