Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says his government has approached the private sector to assist with COVID-19 tests due to the backlog at the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS).

Winde says labs in the private sector are however also under severe pressure and do not offer any realistic short-term relief. He has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa to urgently intervene to support the NHLS.

Winde says over the past two weeks, the Western Cape has more than doubled the total number of tests conducted. Among the problems being experienced is a shortage of reagents and test kits that need to be imported from overseas.

In the video below, Premier Alan Winde discusses the province’s response to COVID-19

On Thursday Winde outlined measures the Western Cape has employed in response to COVID-19. The province is the epicenter of the outbreak in South Africa regarding confirmed cases.

The number of confirmed cases in the Western Cape is 4497Β  with 88 deaths.