Covid-19: Western Cape has Stopped Testing People 45 and Younger

Covid-19: Western Cape has Stopped Testing People 45 and Younger

  • The Western Cape province has taken the decision to stop testing people 45 and younger at their public health facility
  • The province made the decision to stop testing these groups as an attempt to prevent backlogs developing future
  • Individuals that fall within these groups may still get tested at private health facilities however these facilities require a fee

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With the third wave of the coronavirus still looming over South Africa and even harsher lockdown regulations put into place, the Western Cape finds itself in the midst of a Covid-19 testing issue.

The Western Cape has stated that it will no longer be testing individuals 45 years of age and younger at public testing facilities, according to IOL. This means that these individuals no longer have access to free testing.

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Covid-19, Western Cape, Stopped testing people 45 years and under
The Western Cape says it is not testing people 45 years and younger at public health facilities for fear of a future backlog. Image: Dwayne Senior/Getty images
Source: Getty Images

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Western Cape Health Department spokesperson Mark van der Heever stated the reason testing has been limited for this group of people was for the prevention of a testing backlog.

According to News24, the Western Cape had a similar issue last year and decided to not test people 55 years and younger. They found that the testing backlog meant people in most cases only received their results after they had recovered.

Van der Heever said the province had learnt a key lesson in the first and second wave of the coronavirus, they found limiting testing to high-risk patients lessens the chance of backlogs developing and saved lives.

"This helps saves lives, as a quick diagnosis helps ensure careful monitoring and care to those who might need hospitalisation," he said.

Van der Heever further added that individuals 45 and younger may still get tested at private facilities at a fee or using their medical aids.

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In other Covid-19 news, Briefly News reported that 13 300 new Covid-19 cases and 220 more deaths bring the total number of deaths in the country to 60 264. The National Institute for Communicable diseases has revealed that the above has caused a 26.2% positivity rate of infections.

On Tuesday, 8 925 of the new cases were recorded from Gauteng, 992 in the Western Cape while 947 were recorded in KwaZulu-Natal. Gauteng once again leads the infection rate in the country.

South Africa counts for almost 40% of all Covid-19 deaths in Africa. The country is gripped with the third wave where the Delta variant has been the driving force and inevitably became the most dominant strain.

A total of 711 people were admitted to both public and private hospitals by Tuesday, 29 June. According to TimesLIVE, the NICD revealed that there are currently 12 559 positive Covid-19 in being treated in the country's health facilities.

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