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How to get tested for COVID-19 if you do not have medical aid

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Mumtaz Moosa Saley

21/06/2020

There has been a lot of misconception around testing, even though in my previous articles I have consulted with doctors, there seems to have been a change since level 3 lockdown was initiated.  

I decided to visit the local testing pop up in my area and get some answers from the department of health. Firstly, I had thought the process was a lengthy one that would involve much paperwork and long queues. Contact is limited but you will need to take your ID or Passport for identification.    

The Department of Health works in close contact with ward councillors in each area to keep them informed on possible testing. Testing in most areas usually is conducted two to three times a month. They are not going door to door due to many risks involved, the department has opted to do testing in public areas in makeshift tents.  Many of these areas include local parks, car parks of shopping malls or the car parks of local clinics.  

There are many texts going around stating that if you show symptoms you will be tested, this is correct even if you show only one symptom a test will still be conducted, the nationwide testing that happens is for anyone willing to be tested. There are two options one is the nasal swab this may leave you disorientated for a few seconds and the other is a mouth swab which is much easier.  

Most areas such as highly populated areas have permanent screening pop-ups set up to help curb the spread. Each day most people are monitored by temperature checks when going to work and returning while using public transport. Suburbs and other areas have one designated permanent faculty that will test and have pop-up testing sites every few weeks.  

The spokesman from the department of health has urged everyone showing any symptoms to go for testing or if you suspect you have been in contact with someone who has the virus.  Keep in contact with local community groups as most of the time the department does post when and where they will be.  

We each have a responsibility to ensure that the spread of the virus stops with us. The stigma that is attached needs to end and encouragement of testing needs to take place. Together we can overcome this virus.  

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