Covid-19 update: No more testing if you are younger than 55

Covid-19 update: No more testing if you are younger than 55

- Health officials in the Cape Metro report that Covid-19 testing will now only be reserved for people aged over 55 with additional risk factors

- If you are under 55 and experience Covid-19 symptoms, just assume you have it, says Dr Keith Cloete

- The new Covid-19 approach aims to reduce mortality (death rates) and save test kits

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Cape Talk reports that health officials in the Cape Metro, Western Cape will now only test for the Covid-19 virus in people with 'comorbidities' (additional health risk factors) who are older than 55 years old.

Everyone who accesses a health facility will will get screened but only those who have symptoms will and fall into the following categories will be tested:

• People already in hospital with Covid-19 symptoms.

• Health care workers with 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 symptom

In an interview with Cape Talk, Dr Keith Cloete, the Head of Health at the Western Cape Department, explained why they department is now changing its methodology and approach to the virus.

Cloete explained that several factors are influencing this approach. Firstly, he said that they want to focus on people that most at risk of Covid-19 and this is people who are over the age of 55. He added that in doing this, they want to reduce mortality.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Mkhize announces that SA has reached 35 812 infections

Cloete calls this approach, a "risk specified case management approach". He adds that if someone is younger than 55 and exhibits symptoms of the virus, they should simply assume that they have it and after 14 days they will be fine. There is no purpose in getting tested, he says.

Cloete adds that this is also done to reduce the number of tests being done as the department has a massive number of backlogs. The country also has a shortage of Covid-19 test kits.

As it stands, South Africa's confirmed Covid-19 cases are 35 812 and the Western Cape has 23 583 of all the country's cases.

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