The National Health Laboratory Service (NHL) says they have six laboratories performing COVID-19-related tests across all nine provinces.

The number is expected to increase to 9 by April.

This comes as public health workers in vulnerable communities call for more testing kits and facilities to be made available.

Public health workers have expressed concern over the lack of testing kits available.

It’s believed one of the doctors working in the Sedibeng regions tested positive for the coronavirus.

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The Gauteng Department of Health has taken a decision not to speculate on the individual cases that have been reported to avoid stigmatising people.

This comes as the national health laboratory says they are looking to secure more testing kits and sites by April.

Currently, there are six labs equipped to conduct the tests, in addition to the six testing sites.

The national lab has deployed six mobile laboratories to collect samples for testing.

CEO of National Health Laboratory Service Dr Kamy Chetty says, ”The advantage, according to the supplier, is that tests can be processed in 45 minutes, and the smaller machines can be placed in mobile vehicles which make it ideal for community testing.”

“It’s a pity that this new test kit was not available sooner, as it would have made a huge difference to how testing gets done. We are nevertheless pleased that it will be ready shortly.”

Government has a 24 hour COVID-19 hotline and interactive WhatsApp number, coupled with a 24-hour hotline by the National Institute for communicable diseases.

COVID-19 Safety Precautions