The Western Cape Head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, says the testing strategy for the Cape Metro will now be to prioritise the testing of people older than 55 who have comorbidities.
While screening for all will continue, only the following groups of people will be tested:
- Hospitalised people with Covid-19 symptoms.
- Health care workers displaying Covid-19 symptoms.
- People who are older than 55 with diabetes or hypertension and Covid-19 symptoms.
- People who are younger than 55 with underlying conditions and Covid-19 symptoms.
- People who live in a care home or an old age home with Covid-19 symptoms.
In a radio interview with CapeTalk, Cloete said that after analysing tests, the Western Cape Government has decided to turn their focus on the most vulnerable groups to avoid high mortality and morbidity. He said there are fewer testing kits available and thus the provincial government wants to allocate it to where it would have the most impact.
According to Dr Cloete, the likelihood of someone younger than 55 with no underlying conditions being tested is low, even if they present symptoms of COVID-19. People in this category should undergo isolation for 14 days and this will ensure that they do not infect more people.
The Western Cape Government has appealed to people with comorbidities to take extra precautions and says staying home is the best way to avoid infection. The provincial government has also called society to assist these vulnerable groups by doing tasks that require going in public, for them.