CAPE TOWN – Government has announced that it will roll out, antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 detection at all ports of entry in South Africa with immediate effect
The test produces results within 15 minutes, will be conducted at a fee of about R150- R170 and will be paid by the traveller. However, in the event of a traveller arriving at a port of entry without a certified negative PCR test, this shall be the procedure:
- If the traveller tests negative, they will be allowed entry, if negative, they will be required to quarantine at a facility designated by that particular port of entry.
- Travellers who arrive without a certified PCR test and who refuse to test at the port of entry will not be permitted entry into the Republic and will be required to quarantine at a designated facility, said the department.
“Government remains committed to ensuring that South Africa does not suffer from a second wave that compels us to enforce hard lockdown conditions again. Government is embarking on a commitment to a path of socio-economic recovery and growth, and it reminds the citizens and visitors that all must share in the responsibility of mitigating the effects of Covid-19,” a statement from the government.
While it may not be as accurate as the “gold standard” real-time PCR test, which is done in medical labs. Antigen tests work by detecting specific proteins found on the surface of the virus, as opposed to searching for the virus itself.
The World Health Organization, along with its global partners in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, has announced that it will provide 120 million rapid-diagnostic antigen tests to people in lower- and middle-income countries over the next six months.
“High-quality rapid tests show us where the virus is hiding, which is key to quickly tracing and isolating contacts and breaking the chains of transmission. The tests are a critical tool for governments as they look to reopen economies and ultimately save both lives and livelihoods,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
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