Dis-Chem Introduces Drive-Through COVID-19 Testing Stations
As of 8 April 2020, South Africa has 1 749 positive cases of COVID-19 with 45 recoveries and 13 deaths. While there have been 58 098 tests conducted, this is simply not enough to paint an accurate picture of how much the virus has spread in the country.
As a result, there’s an urgent need to ramp up COVID-19 testing. This is why the South African government mobilised 10 000 volunteers to roll out nationwide screening and subsequent testing. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize also mentioned that the country’s testing capacity had been increased to 5 000 tests in 24 hours, but that new mobile laboratories are expected to push the country’s testing capacity to 30 000 a day.
Dis-Chem opens testing stations
This urgent need is also the reason that pharmacy group Dis-Chem announced that they have launched drive-through testing stations at their various outlets.
“At times like these, whatever support the private sector can give government will be valuable,” Lizeth Kruger, head of Dis-Chem clinics, said in a statement.
“We are all fighting the same unseen enemy, so Dis-Chem will be playing a supportive role in working to alleviate some of the pressure by introducing a drive-through testing option.”
Their plan is to put up sites in the parking areas of selected stores and testing will be open between 9:00 and 16:00 on weekdays. To limit the exposure of the staff and yourself, the testing will be done with you in your car and all the results will be logged with the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD).
“Tests will be carried out by fully trained registered nurses. The test being used is the same as the one presently utilised by healthcare practitioners and carried out exactly as they are at various laboratories,” the statement explains.
Drive-through testing is currently available at these Dis-Chem outlets
- Centurion Mall (Pretoria)
- Olympus Village Mall (Pretoria)
- Fourways Mall (Johannesburg)
- Blu Bird Centre (Atholl, Johannesburg)
The pharmacy group is planning to increase the number of drive-through testing sites over the next few days.
“In light of the increasing incidence of COVID-19 transmissions, it’s crucial that South Africa can accurately predict the trajectory of this pandemic,” Kruger said.
“With a greater testing capacity comes a truer picture of the spread of the virus in the country and we’re proud to be able to support the health authorities during such a challenging time.”
The test will cost you R850 and results will be available from 24 to 48 hours after testing.