DURBAN – Pharmaceutical retailer Dis-Chem, has partnered with the solidarity fund to offer free Covid-19 testing to South Africans in need.
There is currently a national backlog of Covid-19 testing; according to Western Cape Premier Alan Winde the backlog has grown to 27 000 and could be as high as 100 000 for the country.
“To increase testing capacity we are using private labs via the National Health Laboratory Service when they have spare capacity. However, there is also a growing demand in the private sector given the increased number of cases in the country. Pursuing an additional contractual relationship with private laboratories and exploring testing capacity at the University laboratories with the support of the Solidarity Fund,” he said.
To qualify for the free testing at Dis-Chem, applicants can’t be a member of a medical scheme nor be employed. Other criteria may include whether the person is a pensioner, disabled or orphaned. Dis-Chem will inform you via SMS and send you a voucher to redeem for testing purposes, as well as directions to your nearest Dis-Chem testing site.
According to the pharmaceutical company, the results should be available in three to five days. In April, the company launched drive-through Covid-19 testing sites in shopping centre parking lots in Gauteng. It has now conducted 15,000 tests at 22 sites.
To apply for the test you can do it via one of these avenues:
- Call the Doctors on Call helpline on 807 055 0234 (weekdays from 08:00 to 17:00).
- Call Momentum’s Hello Doctor service on *120*394#.
- You can get a referral via the Discovery and Vodacom free Covid-19 consultations
- Or you can get a referral from your family doctor (who may refer you via his or her Vula App)
Meanwhile, the Gift of the Givers have also distributed protective items to 160 hospitals and health centres across the country.The organisation also operates nine testing stations and pioneered Intuboxes that enable remote Covid-19 testing and reduced the chances of infection.
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