Since March 30, Gift of the Givers have been facilitating drive-through coronavirus testing sites across South Africa. Yesterday, April 2, the organisation launched a site in Cape Town.
The site was set up in Bellville, in the parking lot of Momentum Metropolitan Holdings. According to News24, there are five doctors, a nurse, and a dietician present to assist patients who suspect they may have contracted the virus. The testing process was reported to be convenient and efficient, taking a mere 20 minutes and don’t require patients to exit their vehicles.
Gift of the Givers first set up sites in Mayfair West, Wits University, Roshnee, and Ahmed Al-Kadi Private hospital. However, on April 2 the service was expanded to Pietermaritzburg (in association with Midlands Medical Centre), Shelley Beach (with MD-24), and Cape Town (with Momentum Metropolitan Holdings). They hope to expand even further in the near future.
In order to be tested at the site, a patient must book an appointment at least a day before by calling their toll-free line on 0800 786 911. The service is also restricted only to people who fufil the National Institute for Communicable Diseases’ (NICD) criteria for testing. This criteria includes having recently travelled internationally, having had contact with a postively tested person, or showing symptoms of the coronavirus (fever, a dry cough, shortness of breath). Patients must also have a doctor’s referral.
According to Dr Naeem Kathrada, who is working alongside Gift of the Givers at the Cape Town site, there are certain protocols that they follow.
“Mullah Labs in Johannesburg co-ordinate all the sites, report to the NICD and provide results to the referring doctor. All tests are carried out at Molecular Diagnostics Services in Durban, an NICD accredited laboratory. JDJ Diagnostics is joining the team to increase capacity. Turnaround time for results is 24-48 hours,” he said in a Facebook post.
“Cost per test is R750 and MUST accompany a doctors referral as per HPCSA requirements. All cases have to adhere to the case definition criteria required by the NICD,” he added. “Please note, Gift of the Givers has facilitated in reducing the cost but does not receive any remuneration for its efforts.”
News24 reported that the payment is required to be made via EFT after testing is completed.
Here is their first testing centre (WITS) in action: