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Bringing Covid testing to people

The West Coast district recently welcomed a Mobile Testing Unit that was used in the Garden Route district.

The Mobile Testing Unit, currently at the Malmesbury Community Day Centre (CDC), provides antigen testing. “Antigen testing lets health-care workers determine if the protein that is part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is present. The antigen test results should be available within 30 minutes. If it is positive, you have Covid-19. If the antigen test is negative, you will still need to be tested for Covid-19 by swabbing in the back of your throat,” explains Sandra Maritz, spokesperson for the department.

According to Dr Anthony Hawkridge, Manager of Medical Services in the Swartland/Bergrivier subdistricts of Western Cape Government Health the availability of this service will increase their testing capacity and relieve some of the pressure on the CDC and Swartland Hospital. “It brings testing closer to those who need it most,” Hawkridge explained. “It should also allow us to detect those who are positive rapidly and give them appropriate advice regarding isolation. At the moment we advise them to quarantine awaiting a result. It may allow us to pick up patients who may need admission earlier than would otherwise have been the case.”

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