Western Cape to intensify screening, testing of coronavirus

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The Western Cape province says it aims to rapidly increase the number of tests per day for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The province says its currently testing about 1000 per day with an intention to double the number by the end of April.

Briefing the media in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced another seven deaths from coronavirus – bringing the total number of deaths to 34.

He said most of those who died had underlying health conditions and were older than 50.

Doctor Saadiq Kariem of the provincial Department of Health says the intensified screening is aimed at reaching vulnerable communities as early as possible.

“We currently in the province can do 1000 tests per day, as of tomorrow (Friday) in fact, we will be adding another 1000 per day tests capacity to our arsenal, and roughly towards the end of April, we’ll be adding about 900 tests per day on our mobiles. We have about seven mobiles that are coming and each mobile will have four little machines on them called genexpert, and those will be able to do about 128 tests per day.”
The province has the second-highest rate of COVID-19 infections at over 600:

In the video below, mobile screening and testing units deployed nationwide: 

Mkhize said the total number of coronavirus cases in the country stands at 2 506. Gauteng continues to be worst affected with 930 cases, followed by the Western Cape with 657 people testing positive for coronavirus. Mkhize urged people to continue to stay at home.

“The possibility of the infection spreading whilst we are on the lockdown is high if you do not stay at home. Actually it can be self-defeating to have a lockdown but people actually continue to mingle and in the process spread the infection.”

Coronavirus statistics in South Africa: